Hague Abduction Convention & Islamic Law

The Hague Conference’s Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1980 (the Abduction Convention) offers an international framework for countries to cooperate in cases of what is often terms “parental kidnapping”.  As much as this Convention is one of the most successful conventions of the Hague Conference, it has faced various challenges by countries refusing to ratify out of concern for domestic values and law on child custody.  Japan was one notable hold out that for many years was considered a black hole of child abduction. However, after international pressure, Japan has ratified.  So too have Morocco and Iraq.  But most Muslim majority countries have refused to ratify the convention because, they claim, it violates Sharia-based rules on child custody.  For many of these countries, such rules inform domestic statutes on family or what is often called Personal Status Law (al-ahwal al-shakhsiyya).  

The Hague Abduction and Islamic law project brings together research in both Islamic law and private international law to go beyond the diplomatic surface of the ongoing contest over the Abduction Convention and the stalemate that has lead to the Malta Process, where signatories and non-signatories discuss second-best options such as mediation.

A collaboration between Anver Emon and Urfan Khaliq (Cardiff Law School, UK), this project aims to overcome the political stalemate through indepth research in Islamic legal history, the history of private international law, and the complex jurisprudence on the Abduction Convention in those jurisdictions that have ratified the Convention.

Executive Summary (English/Arabic)

Full Report

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Recent developments

March 23, 2015: Emon and Khaliq present initial findings at Canadian Embassy’s meeting of the Working Party on Mediation in The Hague, The Netherlands.

November 3, 2015: Emon presents at the informal meeting of legal advisors at the UN’s international law week in NYC.  Hosted by the Government of Canada, Emon presented a draft proposal that avoids conflicts with Islamic law and enhances the private international law capacity of states that apply Islamically inspired family law. 

© AnverEmon 2015