Protecting the Best Interest of the Child in Cross-Border Family Disputes: Qatar Experience
DIFI organized a panel discussion on “Protecting the Best Interest in Cross-Border Family Disputes: Qatar Experience” at the regional seminar on “Child Rights in International Family Disputes” held on November 19 – 20, 2019 in, Amman, Jordan.
The seminar was organized by the “Working Party on Mediation of the Malta Process – Hague Conference on Private International Law” (HCCH), “Supreme Judge Department of the Hashemite Kingdom” and the “Global Affairs Canada” (GAC).
On this participation, Dr. Sharifa Noaman Al Emadi, DIFI’s Executive Director said: “DIFI’s Panel shed the light on the Qatari experience in protecting the best interest of the child in cross-border family disputes bringing together legal experts and practitioners from the Qatar Lawyers Association and Wifaq. We underlined the legal framework and experience of Qatar with relevance to protecting the best interest of the Child in cross-border family Disputes”.
Moderated by DIFI researcher Mr. Ahmad Aref, the panel commenced by a session from Ms. Dina Al Kaabi, Family Policy Officer at DIFI, as she spoke about DIFI’s work to support family policies through scientific evidence and advocacy efforts at the national, regional and international levels. She highlighted the Institute’s previous partnership in this regard with the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) in organizing the first Gulf Regional Seminar on “Protecting the best interests of the child in cross-border family conflicts”, which was held in Doha in March 2016 and aimed to promote dialogue and participation between Gulf government officials and judges and experts on emerging cross-border family disputes involving children, which produced several recommendations, the most important of which were the drafting of a model law on children protection in cases of illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad.
Mr. Abdullah Mohammed Abu Shehab Al Marri, Legal Specialist, Ministry of Justice, pointed out how the Qatari legislator takes care through the various constitutional and legal frameworks in the Qatari legislation to protect the best interests of the child during the cross-border family disputes, as confirmed by the Qatari Family Law of 2006 in many places . This includes the provision of Article 185 of the Qatari Family Law, which protects the custodians of the abuse of foreign foster in case of travel outside the State of Qatar, and the requirement of non-arbitrariness, and put him mechanisms, and when the difference between the guardian and the custodian is the decision of the judge.
On the other hand, Mr. Juznan Al-Hajri, a member of the Board of Directors of the Qatar Lawyers Association and a lawyer at the Court of Cassation, stressed that, according to the law and his discretion, the child’s interests are always attached to the interests of the conflicting parties. He pointed out that the legislator granted the judge powers to make the court decide as a matter of mandatory interest in the interest of the young and protect the incarcerated from the abuse of guardian or guardian, including those powers stipulated in Article 185 of the Qatari family law on the travel of custody with the foreign custodian outside the State of Qatar if the travel Incidentally.
According to the referral systems between the Qatari Family Court and the Wifaq Center, Mr. Salim Mohammed Al-Enezi, Director of the Planning and Development Office, the Family Counseling Center (Wifaq), pointed out that the majority of the role of Wifaq Center is focused on the affected children. This is because the best interest that can be realized for a child is to continue to live in his family and with his parents
In addition to this main role, Wifaq has also provided continuous support to the various members of the affected families in general to face the psychological pressures and internal conflicts that accompanied the new circumstances and changes in their family life with a focus on improving the level of psychological compatibility in the patterns of children and adolescents in particular and help them to get rid of the state of sadness and anxiety that result of deprivation of a parent.