Call for papers: Ensuring the best interests of the child in international family procedures


Deadline - by June 1, 2021 at the latest.

International family law has always been particularly cautious in regulating family relations, leaving the bulk of legal discretion in the regulation of relations between spouses and in the upbringing and maintenance of children to national jurisdictions.

At the same time, the international community has acknowledged the need to recognize as universal values the right of children, whose protection both in peacetime and during armed conflicts, has become the goal of the activities of many international organizations both in terms of practical life support for new generations and in terms of legal provision of cooperation of States in these matters.

As early as the 20th century, legal mechanisms began to be developed to regulate inter-State relations relating to the ever-increasing number of marriages in which spouses have different nationalities, a process that was initiated by the Hague Conference of Private International Law, which adopted the first conventions in the field of the law applicable to marital relations (1902), to relations relating to divorce and separation (1905), to relations relating to the determination of rights and obligations of spouses (1905) and to relations relating to the guardianship and custody of children (1902).

World and civil wars, pandemics and family conflicts of an international character have shown, among other things, the importance of international efforts to protect children in situations unfavourable to them.

The active development of international cooperation in the field of child protection began after the UN was established, which led to the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1959, and subsequently to the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1989, which is the main international act regulating the obligations of states in the field of child protection, putting the basic interests of the child as a legal imperative in the implementation of legal policy in this area.

The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Consequences of Child Abduction, which established the priority of the child's habitual residence as the legal content of the best interests of the child, and the Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Cooperation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children, which was adopted on 19 October 1996 and joined by Russia by accession within the federal law of05.06.2012 N 62-ФЗ , were key milestones in the unification of State efforts in the field of child protection.

Since the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Consequences of Child Abduction has been ratified, acceded to and ratified by 100 States including Russian Federation (federal law N 102-ФЗ of 31-05-2011), there are numerous issues with regard to its application in bilateral relations.

These issues are related both to the special procedure for countries to recognize each other as partners in the Convention, and to differences in interpretation of certain provisions of the Convention by courts of different countries and differences in the hierarchy of international legal instruments governing relations to protect children's interests. A considerable number of disputes have reached the European Court of Human Rights, which has given a number of judgments that require analysis from the perspective of the various international obligations.

The point of special attention was the grounds for refusal to return a child to his or her habitual place of residence, which are differently interpreted and applied by the courts of different countries. In this context, in 2020 the Hague Conference on Private International Law developed recommendations on the correct application of Article 13 - Guide to Good Practice Child Abduction Convention: Part VI - Article 13(1)(b).

In addition, the regulation of the child protection relationship provided for in the 1980 and 1996 Hague Conventions, related to the priority of the child's interest to be returned to his or her habitual residence in the event of uncoordinated relocation by one of the parents, is not consistent with the national laws of individual States parties to the Conventions.

This creates an imbalance in the rights and responsibilities of parents towards children, depending on the residence of parents in different countries, which is also indirectly related to the nationality of parents and children.

All of the above creates a basis for research activities in the field of international and national family law, the results of which the Journal "Pravovedenie" offers interested authors to publish in a special issue devoted to issues of international cooperation of states on legal protection of the best interests of the child.

The Journal calls for papers to be published in a special issue of the Journal dedicated to the cooperation of States in ensuring the implementation of international legal instruments regulating relations to protect the best interests of the child, as well as in evaluating the necessary efforts to be made by States parties to international treaties to remove obstacles to the implementation of international treaties in the field of international family law.

For these reasons, we would like to invite distinguished authors to contribute to the special issue and to submit their articles on these issues of private international family law.

Articles (written in English or Russian, from 0.75 to 2 authors' sheets (author's sheet, unit of 40,000 characters, including spaces)) should be uploaded to the Journal's website by clicking here:

When editing your article, please follow our style guide available on the journal's website.

We need to receive your article by June 1, 2021 at the latest.

Articles are subject to review according to the Journal's rules.

We would be very grateful if you would let us know about your plans to participate in this special issue of the Journal in advance so that we can plan the volume of this issue.

If you wish to submit an article for this special issue of the Journal, please send an e-mail to:

Invited editors:

Katharina Boele-Woelki

Professor, Dr. Dr. H.C. Mult.

Claussen Simon Foundation Professor of Comparative Law

Chair& Dean of Bucerius Law School

Hamburg, Germany

Ursula Basset

Secretary General ISFL

Director of the Center of Research in Family Law

Pontifical Catholic University - Argentina

Piotr Mostowik, Dr. hab., Professor of Chair of Private International Law, Faculty of Law and Administration, Jagellonian University in Kraków

Andrej A. Novikov, PhD in Law, Associate Professor of the Department of civil law of the Faculty of law of St. Petersburg State University

Arkadiusz Wudarski, Professor, Dr. iur. holds the Chair of Polish and European Private Law and Comparative Law at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) and the Chair of Civil Law, Procedural Law and Comparative Private Law at the University of Zielona Góra

Andrey E. Zuev


Contracted Lecturer, Department of International Law, St. Petersburg State University

Member of the Russian Association of International Law