World news story
UK's practice of family law shared with China
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Head of International Family Justice visited China to meet a range of family law stakeholders.
Lord Justice Sir Mathew Thorpe, Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales and Anne-Marie Hutchinson, Chair of Reunite, visited Beijing last week to meet a range of family law stakeholders.
During the visit Lord Justice Thorpe and Anne-Marie Hutchinson were able to offer their Chinese counterparts some thoughts and ideas on the practice of family law in the UK which will enable them to develop China’s own family law. Visits to the Supreme People’s Court and Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed how seriously the Chinese authorities consider the importance of China’s playing a greater part in the Hague Conventions on international aspects of family law.
Lord Justice Thorpe met various other stakeholders with an interest in developing China’s legislation and social services in support of child welfare; and spoke extensively about combating family violence. These included the National People’s Congress, government departments, the All-China Women’s Federation and other non-government organizations (NGO). The visitors also held discussions with a UN multi-agency Task Force tasked with supporting China’s child welfare and domestic violence legislation.
Discussion took place at Beijing Normal University and centred on how courts should regulate the role of the state in intervening in family life, the importance of government agencies working together for the best interests of the child, state guardianship of a minor (taking a child into care) and supporting parenthood and mediation to resolve family issues without resorting to court action.
And as families become more globally mobile, so international cross-border mechanisms for communicating between judicial systems in different countries are becoming more and more important in family law.