News

 

10-01-'14

New commissioned research into the necessity of compulsory sex registration for all

The Academic Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) of the Dutch Ministry of Security & Justice has commissioned UCERF researchers to look into the issue of mandatory, binary (M/F) gender registration. 
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A growing awareness and concern about the vulnerable position of transgender and intersex people has led to questions being raised in parliament regarding the legal possibilities and impediments to refrain from or delete existing registration of a person’s gender. Since 1986,  it has been possible to leave the gender of newly born babies undetermined. However, for people who are already registered as either male or female,  it is only possible to change from male to female, or vice versa.
This research will set out the legal framework in the Netherlands, and identify national and international legal obstacles to the introduction of the possibility of changing an existing gender  registration into an undetermined status, selecting a ‘third box’, or refraining from registration altogether, as well as the consequences thereof (e.g. for detention policies or non-discrimination law). The project includes an exploration of the situation regarding sex registration in six other countries (Germany, UK, India, Nepal, New Zealand and Australia). The results of these country-specific queries will be compared with the situation in the Netherlands.
It is expected that the project will be finalised in the Autumn of 2014. The research team consists of Marjolein van den Brink, Jet Tigchelaar, Wibo van Rossum and Susanne Burri, and is complemented by Eric Gubbels, a registrar in Amsterdam.

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20-12-'13

Announcement of the 8th symposium of UCERF on the 10th of April 2014

On Thursday 10th April 2014, the 8th symposium of UCERF will take place in Utrecht. The symposium will be chaired by UCERF researchers Merel Jonker en Jet Tigchelaar. 
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Presentations will be given by: Susanne Burri (lecturer at Utrecht University and researcher at UCERF): ‘Gender and family relations’; Wil Portegijs (The Netherlands Institute for Social Research): ‘Women and economic independence’; Jan Biemans (professor at Utrecht University): ‘The disinherited child’; Myriam de Bruijn-Luckers (senior judge at the Court of Justice in The Hague): ‘Partner alimentation’; Hans van Loon (former Secretary General of the Hague Conference into Private International Law): ‘Child abduction and human rights’; and Simone van der Hof (professor at Leiden University): ‘Digital children’s rights’.

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20-12-'13

New WODC research ‘Incoming international child abduction cases’

UCERF researchers, commissioned by the WODC, conduct research into incoming international child abduction cases.
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They work closely together with researchers of the DSP-Group. Recently, the general practice of incoming child abduction cases has been changed in the Netherlands. These changes concern three main topics: the introduction of a summery procedure, the role of the Central authority and the improvement of the return procedure. This research evaluates the current practice in the Netherlands and compares this with the foreign practices.

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20-12-'13

New research within the framework of Utrecht University’s strategic programme Youth and Identity

New research within the framework of Utrecht University’s strategic programme Youth and Identity:

Religious and cultural identity markers for children in state interventions
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The media have recently reported on several cases involving minority families in which professional youth care agencies intervened because the emotional and physical development of children was at stake. The dominant secular societal and legal norms concerning the development of children into balanced individuals appear to clash with religious and cultural norms. Preliminary research has confirmed that childcare workers and judges lack an evaluative framework through which to determine how the interests of society and parents should be weighed against interests relating to the future identity of the child. This multidisciplinary research project investigates the way(s) and extent to which state agencies should take account of religious and cultural influences upon the development of children’s identities when taking child protection measures. The aims are twofold. Firstly, to establish building blocks for a framework that enables professionals in the field to identify and understand the multiple components that constitute the complex cases involving minorities in which child protection measures are considered. Secondly, to provide a solid foundation for future research into the legitimacy of state interventions in cases concerning child protection in today’s pluralistic European societies.

Research group

Prof. dr. Katharina Boele-Woelki
Law, Economics and Governance, UCERF
Dr. Christoph Baumgartner
Humanities, Philosophy and Religious Studies
Dr. Mariëtte van den Hoven
Humanities, Philosophy and Religious Studies
Dr. Merel Jonker
Law, Economics and Governance, UCERF
Dr. Jet Tigchelaar
Law, Economics and Governance, UCERF
Dr. Wibo van Rossum
Law, Economics and Governance, UCERF

 

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04-12-'13

18th Ius Commune Conference 2013

On Thursday 28th and Friday 29th November 2013, the 18th Ius Commune conference was held in Maastricht. 
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The first plenary session, which was chaired by Katharina Boele-Woelki (UCERF), was held on Thursday morning. During this session, the importance of convergence in a multi-layered legal order was discussed (Steven Lierman, KU Leuven) and the use of optional instruments in commercial contract law was examined (Harriët Schelhaas, Utrecht University).  After lunch, the family law workshop took place. Jacqueline Gray (UCERF) and Stefanie Sucker (University Bonn) presented their PhD research during the first half, respectively discussing party autonomy in international family law, and cross-border surrogacy. During the second half of the workshop, Susan Rutten et al. (Maastricht University) outlined their intended research on ‘marital imprisonment’ (the problems involved in dissolving religious marriages). The day was rounded off with a delicious evening meal, during which the very positive evaluation of the KNAW visiting committee regarding the Ius Commune research training programme was celebrated.

The next day, René de Groot (Maastricht University) spoke about the quasi loss of nationality during the second plenary session. From a comparative perspective, he analysed cases in which persons have obtained the nationality of a certain country through fraud and, at a later stage, lose this nationality and subsequently become stateless. The outcome of these cases is influenced by the rules of international and European law. As a closing remark, he joked that buying a nationality was no longer a complicated matter. Indeed, since November 2013, Malta has offered EU citizenship for the price of 650,000 Euros.

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