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Justice Lewandowski signs agreement to speed up processes on international abduction of children.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Justice Lewandowski signs agreement to speed up processes on international abduction of children.

A cooperation agreement signed this Wednesday (24/6) between the National Justice Council (CNJ) and the Human Rights Secretariat (SDH) of the Presidency of the Republic will ensure the free Electronic court case deployment (PJe) to speed up the processes involving international abduction of children and international adoption in the Executive organ. The PJe was developed in 2009 by the CNJ in partnership with the courts and the participation of the Bar Association of Brazil (OAB) for the automation of the judiciary and, currently, are handled through 4.514 million technology lawsuits. According to the latest survey of the CNJ, 2.207 judging agencies already use the system on 42 Brazilian courts, in addition to the Federal Justice Council and the CNJ.

The subtraction or the international abduction of a child occurs when she is transferred from one country to another without the consent of one of the parents. It is also considered illegal to withhold a child in a country without the consent of the other parent, after a vacation, for example, even if the father or mother has authorized the trip. In SDH, organ that acts as a Central Federal Administrative Authority (ACAF) – as defined by the 1980 Hague Convention, the use of the PJe aims to give more rapid procedure in administrative headquarters to these processes.

To the President of the CNJ and the Supreme Court (STF), Minister Ricardo Lewandowski, extending the expertise of PJe to the organ demonstrates the attention that the CNJ and the Supreme Court have to the theme of international abduction of children. "This partnership will yield important fruits and will allow the fulfillment of the promise of the Brazilian constituent of building a fairer society, more fraternal and united," said Minister Lewandowski, by signing the cooperation agreement.

The SDH manages requests for international legal co-operation received and sent by Brazil and is responsible for taking the necessary measures for the protection of children involved in cases of international abduction. In the opinion of the Chief Minister of the Secretariat for Human Rights (SDH) of the Presidency of the Republic, Pepe Vargas, who signed the cooperation agreement with the CNJ, the PJe will give more agility and efficiency and reduce costs for all system operators in the area of adoption and subtraction, as well as assist in the registration of international bodies. "We have an extraordinary challenge in Brazil we can reduce the time allowed for analysis of the processes of international abduction of children. First because it's extremely dramatic when this process takes on too much and after a few years if there's a decision, when that child has already created links or was deprived of them emotional and is returned to its country of origin, "said the Minister.
Information for judges

The PJe should speeding up communication among the judiciary and the ACAF. Upon receiving a request for international legal cooperation, the organ makes a pre-scan and then forwards the request to the Attorney General of the Union (AGU), which joins, when necessary, with their lawsuit seeking the return of children to their country of habitual residence. In these cases, it is up to the Judiciary the final decision as to the return or not.

For the senior judge Mônica Sifuentes, the Federal Regional Court of the 1st region (TRF-1), who carries out the function of judge in Brazil for the Hague Conference on private international law, in addition to facilitating the work of SDH, the PJe will enable the other organs that participate in the process of adoption and of kidnapping to have access to documents from the administrative phase. "Nowadays, to get a document, the judge need to connect, make petitions and fulfill all the bureaucratic procedure," said the magistrate.

Increase in the cases

There are currently 395 cases of international abduction of children in progress on SDH, and 80% of them are in the judiciary. In 2013, there were 72 new cases and, last year, 110. By the end of 2015, the SDH must total 156 new cases of international abduction of children.

Of all the processes in progress in SDH, 70% refer to children who have been subtracted abroad and are found in Brazil, and 30% of children who have been taken abroad. The main destination of children taken from Brazil is Portugal, followed by the United States and Italy.

According to information from SDH, about 40% of cases are resolved through agreements made by the organ with the entities of foreign Governments and 10% are resolved through decisions of the Brazilian justice – the other half of them usually remain unsolved.

(Source: CNJ)


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