, the newly established organisation for international child abduction lawyers in Italy, held its inaugural conference in Rome on 23 November 2017.
ICALI, like our own CALA
(the Child Abduction Lawyers Association) in England and Wales, Holland’s D.I.A.L.
and Spain’s ASIME
is an association formed by lawyers working in the field of international child abduction in Italy.
CALA, D.I.A.L., ASIME and most recently ICALI have all been established to promote training and information in order to create and enhance the skills of those working in cross-border family cases and child abduction cases.
The conference, entitled International Child Abduction Prevention and Co-operation, was the culmination of a year’s hard work by Paola Moreschini, ICALI’s president, and her colleagues on the ICALI committee.
The conference was attended by representatives from embassies in Rome, lawyers and mediators from throughout Europe and many others with an interest in parental child abduction.
It consisted of a number of very thought-provoking and informative presentations given by a representative from the Italian Ministry for children and adolescents, Mr Edoardo Patriarca (an Italian Politician), Paola Moreschini (President of ICALI), Giuseppe Vinciguerra (on behalf of the Italian Central Authority) and Sabrini Prati (ISTAT).
Delegates learnt of Italian initiatives and practice in relation to child abduction cases and Ms Prati provided delegates with some fascinating national statistics including an analysis of the birth rates in Italy of children born to mixed nationality couples (which is soaring) in comparison to children born to Italian couples (which is in decline). We also learnt that Italians are currently more likely to have children with Polish and Romanian nationals than any other foreign nationals. It would be fascinating to undertake the same statistical exercise in the UK.
The remainder of the conference consisted of a panel discussion involving practitioners from Italy, Spain, Holland and England & Wales concerning best practice and future challenges. The panel consisted of Grazia Cesaro (Vice-President of ICALI), Carolina Marin Pedreno (Vice-President of ASIME), Wendy A. Van Der Stroom-Willemsen (President of DIAL) and I was asked to participate in my capacity as Chair of CALA. We discussed the practice in our respective countries regarding mediation, ascertaining the voice of the child and the enforcement of return orders. There was an evident shared enthusiasm for mediation amongst the panel and delegates but an acknowledgement that much more still needs to be done by practitioners and the court to encourage mediation in the context of child abduction cases.
ICALI should be congratulated for running a very thought-provoking conference with direct relevance to those that practice in the field of child abduction. I hope that further countries will follow suit and establish their own national association to further develop this exciting and rapidly developing network of associations throughout Europe and beyond.