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Yuko Nishitani

This Chapter points out that in the last decade, the HCCH has been actively reaching out to the Asia-Pacific, including through the HCCH Asia-Pacific Regional Office which has been operational in Hong Kong since 2012. Various activities of this regional office, which include seminars and events to present the HCCH in this part of the world. The author suggests that this shows the attention paid to the Asia-Pacific region as well as a recognition of the region’s potential for further economic growth and social and legal developments. Against this background, this Chapter considers the role and significance of the HCCH instruments in the Asia-Pacific. After giving an overview of the presence of the HCCH in the region to date, the Chapter reflects on the importance and possible impact of the HCCH instruments in the area of child protection and commercial matters. The Chapter notes that the rapid economic developments and gradual advancement of regional integration in the Asia-Pacific may well require enhanced common legal settings in the future. The author argues that although there is a long way off for the region to follow an integration model such as the EU’s, gradual developments toward enhanced legal cooperation and coordination could be expected in private international law of the Asia-Pacific. The HCCH will continue to play an important role in providing a legal bridge for States within the Asia-Pacific region and across the world.

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Yuko Nishitani

This chapter takes a holistic view of HCCH instruments in the sphere of child protection. In the era of globalization, with a frequent movement of people across borders, family relationships become more and more diverse and international. Immigration from other regions renders society multicultural and multi-ethnic, requiring respect for cultural, religious and the social background of children. Parental child abduction is much too common across borders following the breaking-up of an international family relationship. Children are also increasingly exposed to immanent risk of abuse, abandonment, sale and trafficking. These contemporary phenomena poses a challenge to securing the best interests and rights of children in line with the UNCRC. The chapter notes that in the sphere of child protection, the HCCH has been a key player by adopting a series of cardinal instruments on child support, child protection, abduction and adoption since 1956. The chapter engages in an analysis of central HCCH instruments grounded in administrative and judicial cooperation concerning child protection, considering the methods, achievements and possible future developments of HCCH instruments in this sphere. The author observes that existing HCCH instruments, and hopefully also future binding and non-binding instruments, continue to play an important role in giving effect to the UNCRC, under which states incur the obligation to effectively protect rights of children by taking appropriate measures

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Yuko Nishitani

This chapter analyses current issues concerning the treatment of foreign law and seeks to find ways for future developments. After giving some preliminary considerations on the methods of private international law and the nature of foreign law, it delineates comparatively whether and to what extent conflict of laws rules are applied ex officio, how foreign law is introduced in court proceedings and how foreign law is ascertained. Based on these findings, the chapter tackles contemporary challenges of how to ensure an effective operation of uniform or harmonized conflicts rules at regional or international level. It seeks possible solutions to enhance harmonization of the treatment of foreign law and improve access to foreign law.

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Yuko Nishitani

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Yuko Nishitani