Rosario Espinosa Calabuig, Laura Carballo Piñeiro
Child Protection in European Family Law
Abstract: This contribution questions the effectiveness in practice of the plurality of sources applicable to child protection and aims to highlight some essential concepts that guide the application of the relevant instruments, namely the best interest of the child, the right to be heard, parental responsibility, and habitual residence. In general, child protection in European family law mainly relies on procedural rules that benefit from the mutual trust principle in the EU area of justice, but avoid addressing the legal divergence among Member States in these matters. While being apparently neutral, the reality is that these cultural conflicts reappear at the time of their application, as international child abduction cases illustrate.
Keywords: parental responsibility, best interest of the child, international child abduction, Brussels II ter Regulation