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Article

Access_open The Child’s Contact with Grandparents

Journal Family & Law, September 2021
Keywords Family life, Best interest of the child, Contact rights, Grandchildren, Grandparents
Authors prof. M. Holdgaard
AbstractAuthor's information

    Grandparents hand down their experiences, knowledge, traditions and values to their grandchildren. As a high level of grandparental involvement may play an important role in a child’s well-being, legal protection of that family relation may be in the best interest of a given child. There is a continuing interaction between family law, cultural and social norms of what constitutes a family and how family life should be, and actual family practices and structures. Due to changing family patterns combined with an increasing number of divorces and cohabiting couples with children splitting up grandparents now play an increasing role in their grandchildren’s lives. Children become members within other types of family structures, e.g. single parents (raising half-siblings), families with yours and/or mine (and joint) children etc. When a child’s family includes a step-parent with children and step-grandparents – as well as the biological parents and grandparents – a potential risk of conflict among the family members is high. Grandparents, therefore, risk losing contact or having less contact than they had previously. At first glance, there might appear to be little reason for society to regulate the practices of grandparents as providers of non-formalized childcare or to protect the rights of children in these relationships. However, due to the changing family practices and social norms, one could argue that the legal protection of contact between grandparents and grandchildren is an important legal topic in domestic law and in academic discussions in the coming years. This article articulates these issues by framing three articles that together create a thematic map in this journal on Spanish and Catalan law, and Scandinavian law as well as the grandparents’ right to maintain contact with their grandchildren under the European Convention on Human Rights seen in a context of the best interest of the child.


prof. M. Holdgaard
Marianne Holdgaard is Professor in family and inheritance law at the School of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Aalborg
Article

Access_open Invisible before the law

The legal position of persons with intellectual disabilities under the Dutch Care and Compulsion Act (Wzd) in light of Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Journal Family & Law, June 2021
Keywords dicrimination, guardianship, incapacitated adults, legal (in)capacity
Authors F. Schuthof LLM
AbstractAuthor's information

    In the Netherlands, the use of involuntary treatment in the mental health care sector is governed by the Dutch Care and Compulsion Act (Wzd). This study examines the legal position of persons with intellectual disabilities under this Act. The Wzd is analyzed in light of the human rights standards of Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The findings of this study show that the Wzd does not meet the standards of Article 12 in several cases. The Wzd does not recognize the legal capacity of persons with intellectual disabilities, it continues to allow for substituted decision-making and support measures are not complemented by adequate safeguards. From a theoretical point of view, an imbalance between the protection of and the respect for the autonomy of persons with intellectual disabilities can be observed. This article formulates several recommendations in order to restore this balance.
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    De Nederlandse Wet zorg en dwang (Wzd) ziet toe op de rechten van mensen met een verstandelijke beperking bij onvrijwillige zorg of onvrijwillige opname. Dit artikel onderzoekt de juridische positie van mensen met een verstandelijke beperking ten aanzien van deze wet. De Wzd wordt geanalyseerd in relatie tot artikel 12 van het Verdrag inzake de Rechten van Personen met een Handicap (VRPH). De bevindingen van dit onderzoek laten zien dat de Wzd in verschillende gevallen niet voldoet aan de normen van artikel 12 VRPH. Zo wordt onder andere de handelingsbekwaamheid, ofwel ‘legal capacity’, van mensen met een verstandelijke beperking niet erkend en blijft plaatsvervangende besluitvorming mogelijk. Vanuit theoretisch oogpunt is er sprake van een disbalans tussen de bescherming van en het respect voor de autonomie van mensen met een verstandelijke beperking. Dit artikel doet daarom meerdere aanbevelingen om dit evenwicht te herstellen.


F. Schuthof LLM
Fiore Schuthof conducts research into better empowerment and protection of the elderly as a PhD student at Utrecht University (UU).
Article

Access_open Autonomy in old age

Journal Family & Law, May 2019
Authors prof. dr. Tineke Abma and dr. Elena Bendien
AbstractAuthor's information

    Background: In many European countries caring responsibilities are being reallocated to the older people themselves to keep the welfare state affordable. This policy is often legitimized with reference to the ethical principle of autonomy. Older people are expected to be autonomous, have freedom to make their own decisions, and be self-reliant and self-sufficient as long as possible.
    Aim: The purpose of this article is to explore whether and how older people can remain autonomous in order to continue living their lives in accordance with their own values in the context of declining professional caring facilities and shrinking social networks, and which concepts of autonomy can guide professionals and other involved parties in facilitating the choices of older people.
    Method: An empirical-ethical approach is used to interpret the moral values enacted in the caring practice for older people. Two cases are presented. One is the narrative of a woman who lives by herself; she has been hospitalized after a fall and hip fracture, but does not want to be operatied. The second is the narrative of man living in a residential home; he wants to be actively involved, doing good deeds like he always did as a Scout. The cases are evaluated with the help of two concepts of autonomy: autonomy as self-determination and relational autonomy.
    Results: In both cases the enactment of autonomy remains problematic. In the case of the woman there was not enough care at home to live up to her own values. After she was admitted to a hospital her wish not to be operated was questioned but ultimately honoured due to compassionate interference by close relatives and her oncologist. In the second case there was not enough space for the man to lead his life in the way he always had; his plans for improving the social environment in the care home were torpedoed by management and ultimately the man decided to step back.
    Conclusion: In order to do justice to the complexity of each empirical case that involves autonomy of an older person more than one concept of autonomy needs to be applied. Relying on self-determination or relational autonomy exclusively will give professionals and all involved parties a restricted view on the situation, where the wishes of older people are at stake. In both cases autonomy was overruled by system procedures and stereotypical ideas about old people as being weak and not able to make their own decisions. Both cases show, however, that older people - even if they are physically and mentally frail - long to remain morally responsible for the direction their lives are taking, in accordance with their own values. They communicate their wish to determine their own future and at the same time they are interdependent on others to realize their (relational) autonomy and require support in their attempt to maintain their identity. This conclusion has implications for the normative behaviour of the professionals who are involved in care and treatment of older people.
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    Achtergrond: In veel landen wordt de verantwoordelijkheid voor de zorg voor ouderen naar de ouderen zelf verplaatst, dit teneinde de welvaartstaat betaalbaar te houden. Dit beleid wordt veelal gelegitimeerd met referentie naar het ethische principe van autonomie. Oudere mensen worden geacht autonoom te zijn, vrij te zijn om hun eigen beslissingen te nemen, en om zo lang mogelijk zelfredzaam te blijven.
    Doel: Het doel van dit artikel is om te onderzoeken of en hoe oudere mensen autonoom kunnen blijven teneinde hun leven in overeenstemming met hun eigen waarden te kunnen voortzetten in de context van teruglopende professionele zorgactiviteiten en krimpende sociale netwerken, en welke concepten van autonomie zorgprofessionals en andere betrokken partijen kunnen helpen bij het faciliteren van de keuzes door ouderen.
    Methode: Een empirisch-ethische benadering wordt gebuikt om de morele waarden in de zorgpraktijk voor ouderen te interpreteren. Twee casussen worden gepresenteerd. De eerste is het verhaal van een vrouw die op zichzelf woont. Ze is na een val waarbij haar heup is gebroken, in een ziekenhuis opgenomen, maar ze wil niet geopereerd worden. De tweede is het verhaal van een man die in een verzorgingshuis woont. Hij wil actief betrokken worden en goede dingen doen zoals hij die altijd heeft gedaan toen hij padvinder was. Beide verhalen worden met behulp van twee concepten van autonomie geëvalueerd: autonomie als zelfbeschikking en relationele autonomie.
    Resultaat: In beide casussen blijft de verwezenlijking van autonomie problematisch. In het geval van de vrouw was er thuis onvoldoende zorg om volgens haar waarden te kunnen leven. Toen zij in het ziekenhuis was opgenomen werd haar wens om niet te worden geopereerd tegen gehouden, maar uiteindelijk ingewilligd als gevolg van bemoeienis uit hoofde van barmhartigheid door directe verwanten en haar oncoloog. In het tweede geval was er voor de man onvoldoende ruimte om zijn leven te leiden op de manier zoals hij dat altijd had gedaan. Zijn plannen om de sociale omgeving in het verzorgingshuis te verbeteren werden door het management getorpedeerd en uiteindelijk heeft hij zich ervan teruggetrokken.
    Conclusie: Teneinde recht te doen aan de complexiteit van beide casussen die betrekking hebben op de autonomie van een oudere, dient meer dan één concept voor autonomie te worden ingezet. Het vertrouwen in zelfbeschikking of relationele autonomie alleen zal aan de professionals en alle andere betrokken partijen een beperkt zicht geven van de situatie wanneer het de wensen van ouderen betreft. In beide gevallen werd de autonomie ter zijde geschoven door protocollen en stereotypische ideeën over ouderen als kwetsbare personen die niet in staat zouden zijn om zelf hun beslissingen te nemen. Echter tonen beide voorbeelden aan dat ouderen, zelfs als ze fysiek en mentaal kwetsbaar zijn, de wens hebben om moreel verantwoordelijk te blijven voor de richting die hun leven zal nemen, in overeenstemming met hun eigen waarden. Zij geven de wens aan om hun eigen toekomst te bepalen en tegelijkertijd zijn ze onderling afhankelijk van anderen om hun (relationele) autonomie te verwezenlijken, én hebben ze behoefte aan steun bij hun poging om hun identiteit te behouden. Deze conclusie heeft gevolgen voor het normatieve handelen van professionals die bij de zorg en behandeling van ouderen betrokken zijn.


prof. dr. Tineke Abma
Professor dr. Tineke A. Abma is a full professor of Participation and Diversity at the Department of Medical Humanities of Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc.

dr. Elena Bendien
Dr. Elena Bendien is a social gerontologist and a senior researcher at the Department of Medical Humanities of Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc.

    Ongeveer 20% van de echtscheidingen loopt uit op een zogenaamde conflict- of vechtscheiding. Om deze complexe echtscheidingszaken effectief aan te pakken, dienen professionals in het veld te beschikken over wetenschappelijk onderbouwde kennis over werkzame interventies. Mediation wordt vaak beschouwd als dé oplossing voor conflictscheidingen. Wetenschappelijk onderzoek laat echter een beperkte effectiviteit zien van mediation bij conflictscheidingen. Dit heeft onder andere te maken met de hoge prevalentie (rond 40%) van huiselijk geweld in conflictscheidingsgezinnen.
    In dit onderzoek is de visie van Nederlandse professionals over conflictscheidingen onderzocht en vergeleken met de kennis uit de wetenschappelijke literatuur. Met behulp van een online vragenlijst testten we het kennisniveau van 863 professionals die werken met conflictscheidingsgezinnen. Dit waren advocaten, professionals uit de jeugdzorg/-bescherming, mediators en professionals uit de GGZ.
    Professionals behaalden een gemiddelde score van 6,5 correcte antwoorden op een totaal van 11, waarbij juridische professionals significant beter scoorden dan sociale professionals. Slechts 17% van de professionals wist dat in bijna de helft van de conflictscheidingen huiselijk geweld een rol speelt. 55% van de professionals adviseerde in een geval van een al 7 jaar durende conflictscheiding mediation als effectieve interventie. 46% van de respondenten overschatte de prevalentie van valse beschuldigingen van huiselijk geweld en kindermishandeling bij conflictscheidingen.
    In opleidingen voor Nederlandse juridische en sociale professionals die werken met conflictscheidingsgezinnen dient meer aandacht besteed te worden aan wetenschappelijke kennis, zodat professionals handelen op basis van kennis in plaats van persoonlijke opvattingen en mythen.
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    High conflict divorces are among the 20% of divorce cases that continue to escalate over time. In order to help solve these complex divorce cases, it is important that professionals in the field possess evidence-based knowledge to provide effective interventions. One of these possible interventions is mediation, which is often seen as a panacea for high-conflict divorce (HCD) cases. However, scientific research has shown limited effectiveness of mediation in HCD cases. This is partially associated with the high prevalence (around 40%) of domestic violence in HCD.
    The present study examined professionals’ perspectives on high conflict-divorce cases and compared their views with the available scientific evidence. By means of a web-survey, we tested the knowledge of different professional groups (N = 863) who work with HCD families. The sample consisted of lawyers, child welfare/child protection professionals, mediators and mental health professionals.
    The results showed that professionals on average gave 6.5 correct responses out of 11 questions in total and that legal professionals scored significantly better than social professionals. Only 17% of the professionals were aware that in almost half of all high-conflict divorce cases domestic violence is a problem. For a high-conflict divorce case spanning 7 years, mediation was advised as an effective intervention by 55% of professionals. 46% of respondents overestimated the prevalence of false allegations of child abuse in HCD cases.
    More attention to scientific knowledge on HCD in the educational curricula for Dutch legal and social professionals is needed, in order to assure that their professional activities and decision making are based on scientific evidence instead of personal biases and myths.


Prof. dr. Corine de Ruiter
Prof. dr. Corine de Ruiter is a licensed clinical psychologist (BIG) in The Netherlands. She serves as professor of Forensic Psychology at Maastricht University. She also has a private practice. Her research focuses on the interface between psychopathology and crime. She has a special interest in the prevention of child abuse and intimate partner violence because they are both very common and often overlooked in practice.

Brigitte van Pol Msc
Brigitte van Pol studied Psychology and Law at Maastricht University. Her involvement in this research dates from her Master’s thesis on the role of mediation in high conflict divorce. The authors would like to thank the participants for their time and effort in completing our websurvey.

    Nederlandse kinderen lijken minder te weten over kinder- en mensenrechten dan andere kinderen in Europa. Om die reden zien beleidsmakers, wetenschappers en maatschappelijke organisaties een noodzaak om formele educatie op deze onderwerpen te introduceren in alle onderwijsniveaus. Wat denken middelbare leerlingen zelf hier echter over? Dit artikel onderzoekt het rechtsbewustzijn van kinderen in drie Nederlandse middelbare scholen ten aanzien van hun specifieke rechten als kinderen. Het wordt duidelijk dat kinderen ideeën en meningen hebben over hun rechten en daarmee een rechtsbewustzijn hebben, ook als zij geen rechtenjargon gebruiken. Hun rechtsbewustzijn bestaat uit moraliteit, wat verklaart dat zij bepaalde rechten zelf bedenken: sommige thema’s vinden zij zo belangrijk dat zij voelen dat ze deel uitmaken van hun fundamentele rechten als kinderen. Het integreren van mensenrechteneducatie in het schoolcurriculum zou een nodige, maar is een onvoldoende oplossing voor het ‘probleem’ dat voor ons ligt. Het is namelijk niet bewezen of meer kennis op deze onderwerpen ook leidt tot verandering van gedrag. De kinderen maakten namelijk ook bewuste keuzes om níet hun rechten in te roepen, maar om hun problemen anderszins op te lossen. Dit moet worden meegenomen om interventies effectief te laten zijn, zodat niet het tegenovergestelde van wat gewenst is, wordt bereikt. En effectieve interventies dienen daarnaast aan te sluiten bij het dagelijks leven van de kinderen. Volgens de leerlingen zijn kinderrechten vooral ook iets dat we moeten doen en oefenen.
    Dutch children seem to be less informed about children’s and human rights than their peers in other European states. Therefore, policy makers, academics and CSOs recognise a need to introduce formal education on these matters in all levels of schooling. But what do secondary school children themselves think about this? This article explores the legal consciousness of children in three Dutch schools on their specific rights as children. It has been evidenced that children have ideas and opinions about their rights and therefore have a legal consciousness, though without using the language of the law. Their legal consciousness consists of morality, which explains their ‘invention’ of certain rights: some themes are of such importance that they feel these are part of their fundamental rights as children. Integrating human rights education into the school curriculum may be a necessary, but is an insufficient solution to the ‘problem’ at hand. It has not been evidenced whether more knowledge changes their behavior. The children made informed decisions to not invoke their rights, and to solve their problems differently. Effective interventions need to take this into account in order to relate to their everyday lives and avoid having the opposite effect of what is intended. According to the students, children’s rights are mostly something to be done or practiced.


Carrie van der Kroon LL.M.
Carrie van der Kroon works as a programme officer on girls’ rights in the Global South at Defence for Children International – ECPAT the Netherlands. She obtained her masters in Legal Research (Cum Laude) at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, specialising in international children’s rights from a socio-legal perspective.

    This report discusses the interesting remarks and conclusions made by the speakers at the ERA seminar, ‘Recent Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights in Family Law Matters’, which took place in Strasbourg on 11-12 February 2016. The report starts with a brief discussion on the shifting notion of ‘family life’ in the case law of the ECtHR, then turns to best interests of the child in international child abduction cases, the Court’s recognition of LGBT rights and finally the spectrum of challenges regarding reproductive rights in the Court’s case law. The overarching general trend is that the Court is increasingly faced with issues concerning non-traditional forms of family and with issues caused by the internationalisation of families. How this is seen in the Court’s recent case law and how it effects the various areas of family law is discussed in this report.


Charlotte Mol LL.B.
Charlotte Mol is a Legal Research Master student at the University of Utrecht, where she specializes in family law and private international law. She has assisted the Commission on European Family Law with the editing of the comparative study on informal relationships. As a guest student she visited the University of Antwerp for two months, where she researched the best interests of the child in international child abduction cases in collaboration with, and under the supervision of, Prof. Thalia Kruger. She holds a European Law School LL.B. from Maastricht University.

    Zowel in België als in Nederland komt draagmoederschap voor. Deze bijdrage heeft tot doel om de houding van de twee buurlanden ten aanzien van dit controversiële fenomeen te onderzoeken en te vergelijken.
    De wensouders en draagmoeders ervaren meerdere juridische obstakels. Zo blijkt in beide landen de draagmoederschapsovereenkomst niet geldig en evenmin afdwingbaar te zijn. Hoewel in Nederland de mogelijkheid bestaat om het ouderlijk gezag over te dragen van draagmoeder naar wensouders, is het ook daar, net zoals in België, allesbehalve evident om de band tussen kind en wensouders juridisch te verwezenlijken. Noch de oorspronkelijke, noch de adoptieve afstamming is aan het fenomeen aangepast. Vooral voor Nederland is dit vreemd aangezien de Nederlandse wetgeving uitdrukkelijk bepaalt onder welke voorwaarden medisch begeleid draagmoederschap toegelaten is. De wet schept met andere woorden een gezondheidsrechtelijk kader, maar regelt niet de gevolgen van het draagmoederschap. In België is er daarentegen geen enkele wetgeving betreffende draagmoederschap. Dit betekent dat de onaangepaste wetgeving betreffende medisch begeleide voortplanting van toepassing is op draagmoederschap. Over deze toepassing en de gevolgen ervan bestaat evenwel onduidelijkheid. Commercialisering van draagmoederschap leidt ook tot problemen. In Nederland is professionele bemiddeling en het openbaar maken van vraag en aanbod met betrekking tot draagmoederschap strafbaar gesteld. Daarnaast kunnen de omstandigheden van een zaak waarin het kind als het ware verkocht wordt aan de wensouders zowel in België als in Nederland leiden tot andere misdrijven. Gelet op dit alles begeven sommige wensouders zich naar het buitenland om daar beroep te doen op draagmoederschap. Wensen zij terug te keren met het kind naar het land van herkomst, dan leidt dit in beide buurlanden tot internationaalprivaatrechtelijke problemen.
    Door het gebrek aan een algemeen wettelijk kader, is het draagmoederschapsproces in beide landen vaak een calvarietocht. Dit leidt tot rechtsonzekerheid. Oproepen tot een wettelijk ingrijpen bleven tot nu toe echter onbeantwoord.
    Surrogacy is practiced in Belgium and the Netherlands. The aim of this contribution is to compare the many legal aspects of the phenomenon. In both countries legal problems surround surrogacy: the surrogacy contract is unenforceable; it is difficult for the intended parents to become the legal parents; commercial surrogacy can result in criminal sanctions and cross-border surrogacy leads to limping legal relations. The main differences between the two legal systems are that in Belgium there is no regulation at all, while in the Netherlands, professional mediation and advertising in surrogacy are explicitly forbidden and Dutch law provides a limited health law regulation. In both countries scholars have pressed the need for legal change.


Dr. Liesbet Pluym Ph.D.

    Those who talk can be heard. Those who are allowed to talk may be listened to. This study is an attempt to give legal voice to those who cannot talk or are usually not listened to: children. This study is about the attention given to their interests, the best interests of the child. When these interests are immersed in a minority context, children may be overlooked for different reasons, including discriminatory attitudes or prejudice regarding their families. Law and its interpretation must be changed in order to include the difference. This study discusses the best interests of the child principle with special attention to its legal relevance in cases where lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) are, or want to be, parents. The authoritative source for the interpretation of the principle is the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The analysis focuses on the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and its case law. The study aims to explore the Court’s approach to the best interest of the child and identify whether the principle is being consistently applied in cases involving LGBT families, given the fact that sexual orientation and gender identity are still sensitive issues in Europe. This is done by comparing these cases to cases lodged by applicants who were not identified as an LGBT person. The margin of appreciation doctrine and the lack of European consensus on sexual minorities’ rights are confronted with the urgent paramount consideration that has to be given to children’s best interests. The analysis explores whether there is room for detecting a possible Court’s biased approach towards the concept of the best interests of the child. This study challenges the Court’s decisions in the sense that the focus should not only be at the LGBT parents’ rights to private and family life, but also at the interests of their daughters and sons. This is an attempt to call upon the ECtHR and all states not only to actively fight discrimination against LGBT persons, but, ultimately, to stop interpreting the concept of the best interests of the child in an arguably biased way, and to consider the principle’s legal value in any decision, regardless of their parents’ sexual orientation, gender identity or any other distinction.


Mr. Gabriel Alves de Faria
Gabriel Alves de Faria is a Brazilian lawyer, LGBTI activist and human rights specialist who holds a Law degree from the Federal University of Espirito Santo and a European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (E. MA/EIUC - Utrecht University). Among other legal and social experiences in the human rights field, Gabriel has worked as a researcher in comparative sexual orientation Law at Leiden University and most recently as a Fellow and consultant lawyer at the LGBTI Rapporteurship of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, DC. His latest project is a documentary on the situation of LGBTI persons in Southeast Asia.

    Legal position of a known donor constitutes an ongoing challenge. Known donors are often willing to play a role in the child’s life. Their wishes range from scarce involvement to aspiring legal parentage. Therefore three persons may wish for parental role. This is not catered for in the current laws allowing only for two legal parents. Several studies show how lesbian mothers and a donor ’devise new definitions of parenthood’ extending ’beyond the existing normative framework’. However, the diversity in the roles of the donors suggests a split of parental rights between three persons rather than three traditional legal parents. In this article I will discuss three jurisdictions (Quebec, Sweden and the Netherlands), allowing co-mother to become legal parent other than by a step-parent adoption. I will examine whether these jurisdictions attempt to accommodate specific needs of lesbian families by splitting up parentage ’package’ between the duo-mothers and the donor.


Prof. mr. Masha Antokolskaia Ph.D.
Masha Antokolskaia is professor of Private Law (in particular, Personal Status and Family Law) at the VU University Amsterdam. She is a member of the Commission on European Family Law (CEFL) and a board member of the International Society of Family Law. She is author of a diverse range of monographs and articles written in Dutch, English and Russian. Her main research areas are: European comparative Family Law and Dutch Family Law, with particular regard to the law relating to relationships, parentage and divorce.

    This article seeks to critically analyse the European Commission's Proposal for a Council Regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law and recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes (COM (2011) 126). It focuses upon the coordination of the Proposal's provisions on jurisdiction and applicable law with the parallel provisions contained in other related EU private international law instruments, namely those relating to divorce (Brussels II bis and Rome III) and succession (Succession Regulation). In doing so, the article adopts a 'stress-test' approach, presenting scenarios in which interaction between these related instruments takes place. The compositions and circumstances of the fictitious couples in these scenarios are varied in order to fully illustrate the potential consequences of the interplay between the instruments. This article seeks to assess the extent to which (in)consistency exists between the current and proposed EU private international instruments and, by evaluating this interaction through a number of norms, how identified inconsistencies impact upon international couples' legal relationships. In order to ensure the analysis remains as up to date as possible, the article will also take into account relevant changes introduced in the latest revised versions of the Proposal.


Jacqueline Gray LL.M.
Jacqueline Gray studied law at the University of Glasgow (2006-2010) and European law at the Leiden University (2010-2011). Following this, she undertook a four-month internship at the Molengraaff Institute for Private Law and five-month traineeship at the European Parliament in Brussels. She is now a PhD student at the Molengraaff Institute for Private Law, where she is writing her dissertation on party autonomy in the EU private international law relating to family matters and succession.

Pablo Quinzá Redondo LL.M.
Pablo Quinzá Redondo, a research scholar funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Valencia. His specialisation concerns 'The europeanisation of matrimonial property regimes from a substantive and private international law perspective'. Prior to commencing his PhD, he completed undergraduate degrees in both Law and Administration and Business management (2004- 2010), as well as a Master’s degree in Company Law (2010-2012), at the University of Valencia.

    In dit artikel wordt aandacht besteed aan duo-moederschap in Nederland vanuit een ontwikkelingspsychologisch/pedagogisch en een juridisch perspectief. Allereerst wordt aandacht besteed aan de huidige juridische situatie en de ontwikkelingen die zich recent daarin hebben voorgedaan. Uit deze bespreking rijst een aantal vragen met betrekking tot de relatie tussen de duo-moeders, het kind en de (on)bekende donor, die vervolgens vanuit ontwikkelingspsychologisch perspectief worden besproken. In het laatste deel van het artikel wordt aandacht besteed aan de voorgestelde wetgeving met betrekking tot de positie van het kind in een gezin met twee moeders, waarbij aan de hand van de ontwikkelingspsychologische bevindingen wordt gekeken naar de kwaliteit van het voorstel.
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    This article focuses upon dual motherhood in the Netherlands from a psychological development/educational and legal perspective. Firstly, attention is paid to the current legal situation and the developments which have recently occurred in this regard. From this, a number of questions arise concerning the relationship between dual mothers, the child and the (un)known donor, which will be discussed from a psychological development perspective. The last part of the article focuses upon the proposed legislation with regard to position of the child in a family with two mothers, examining the quality of the proposal on the basis of the findings concerning psychological development.


Machteld Vonk
Machteld Vonk studied law between 1998 and 2002 at the University of Amsterdam. Following this, she began her PhD at the Molengraaff Institute for Private Law of Utrecht University, under the supervision of Prof. K. Boele-Woelki. Her research looked at the legal relationship between children and non-biological parents from a comparative perspective. In December 2007, she defended her PhD dissertation ‘Children and their parents’ (Intersentia; 2007). From January 2008 until July 2012, she was employed at the Molengraaff Institute as a lecturer/researcher on family law and comparative law. Since 1st July 2012, she has worked in the department of child law of Leiden University as a lecturer/researcher on child law.

Dr. Henny Bos
Henny Bos works as a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam (the department of child development and education and teacher training). Her research concerns gay and lesbian parenthood. She has established a Dutch longitudinal study on this research area, and also participates in an American longitudinal study concerning this subject. From February until the end of June 2012, she was a visiting scholar at the Williams Institute (University of California in Los Angeles).

    Deze studie beoogt empirische inzichten te verschaffen in de socio-juridische context van Vlaamse echtscheidingsovereenkomsten. Meer specifiek: er is empirisch onderzoek verricht naar de determinanten van echtscheidingsakkoorden (ex ante context), alsook naar de effecten die deze regelingen sorteren (ex post context). Door toepassing van de sociaalwetenschappelijke methodologie binnen het familierecht voorziet deze empirische analyse in brede kwantitatieve gegevens die als basis kunnen dienen voor toekomstige beleidsmatige beslissingen. Daarnaast kunnen de empirische bevindingen bijdragen tot de optimalisatie van de redactie van echtscheidingsovereenkomsten.
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    This research aims to provide empirical insights into the socio-legal context of mutual consent divorce agreements. More specifically, this empirical-legal study investigates the determinants of divorce arrangements (i.e. the ex ante context)  as well as the effects of these arrangements (i.e. the ex post context). By using statistical techniques of the social sciences (i.e. regression analysis), this empirical analysis provides in broad quantitative data that serve as a basis for future policy decisions. This article concludes that this empirical findings contribute to the optimization of divorce agreement drafting.


Dr. Ruben Hemelsoen
Ruben Hemelsoen has a doctorate in law, and master’s degrees in law and psychology. He is currently head of student affairs at University College Ghent. Alongside this, the author works as a voluntary researcher at the civil law department of the Faculty of Law of Ghent University.
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