The Child’s Right to Be Heard in the Brussels System

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. Child’s right to be heard in human rights treaties. – III. Child’s right to be heard in the Brussels IIa Regulation. – IV. Child’s right to be heard in Member States’ procedural laws. – V. Child’s right to be heard in the Brussels IIa Recast Proposal. – VI. Conclusions.

Abstract: Ten years after its enactment, and on the basis of substantial case law derived from the Court of Justice, on 30 June 2016 the Commission adopted a Recast Proposal of the Brussels IIa Regulation. The Proposal suggests amending the Brussels IIa Regulation in regards to several aspects, including the hearing of the child. The right of the child to be heard is acknowledged as a fundamental human right, as the European Court of Human Rights in the case Iglesias Casarrubios and Cantalapiedra Iglesias v. Spain of 11 October 2016 (no. 50811/10) emphasised. In the system of the Brussels IIa Regulation and of its Recast Proposal, this right plays a considerable role. This paper analyses the approach adopted by the Regulation and the amendments suggested by its Recast Proposal.

Keywords: cross-border families – parental responsibility – child – hearing – Brussels IIa Regulation – Recast Proposal.

European Papers, Vol. 2, 2017, No 1, pp. 43-74
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/145

* Aggregate Professor of European Union Law, School of Law, University of Milan-Bicocca,



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