Summary of the conference
An international doctoral conference with the title „Children’s Rights vs. Parental Responsibility” was organized on the 11st of October 2021. The webinar was organized by the Central European Professors’ Network coordinated by the Ferenc Mádl Institute of Comparative Law (Hungary, Budapest); by the University of Miskolc, Faculty of Law, Institution of Private Law, Department of Civil Law; by the Hungarian Scientific Academy Miskolc Regional Committee of the Private Law Scientific Working Committee; and by the Central-European Comparative Law Association.
The webinar was organized via the Google Meet platform, where Dr. Edit Sápi welcomed the participants and Prof. Dr. Tímea Barzó has also joined the conference. Prof. Dr. Aleksandra Korac Graovac, Dr. Suzana Kraljic and Dr. Lilla Garayová also participated at the conference. The conference programme was very colourful, and the wide range of children’s rights issues were presented by the speakers. In addition to examining the regulatory and theoretical issues in each country, the presentations also drew attention to practical issues through the valuable and forward-looking presentations. The conference was attended by thirteen PhD students from Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian, Czech, Polish, and Hungarian universities. The presentations were divided into two sessions, which were justified by the very diverse range of topics covered by the participants. The first section was held under the title of „Children’s rights vs. Parental Responsibility in Europe section”, and the second one was the section of, „Children’s rights vs. Parental Responsibility in the World”.
The first presentation of the „Children’s rights vs. Parental Responsibility in Europe section” was introduced by David Adesola BANKOLE (University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law) with the title „Maintaining personal relations = Contact with a child – Children’s and Parental Rights in light of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights”. His presentation focused primarily on the issue of the contact rights of parents who are not living together with the children. After the introduction of the theoretical basis, he turned to an analysis of case law of Croatian cases (Ribic v. Croatia; K.B. v. Croatia; Begovic v. Croatia; Jurisic v. Croatia) where the child was unable to maintain adequate contact with the non-cohabiting parent.
The second presentation was held by Urška KUKOVEC (Faculty of Law University of Maribor) who spoke about the best interest of the child in the presentation under the titled of „The principle of the best interest of the child”. First, she described how the principle is reflected in the international documents, and then she described the relevant Slovenian legislation. In the domestic context, she not only described the legislative framework but also the connecting case law as well.
After this Denisa KOTROUŠOVÁ (University of West Bohemia), Czech PhD student showed her thought-provoking presentation under the title „Corporal Punishments as a Mean of Upbringing vs. Children’s Rights in the Czech Republic” on the issues of whether corporal punishment is an acceptable mean of parenting under the Czech law. In the presentation she examined the Czech legislation and judicial practice, the most important international conventions and soft law principles. In the presentation, she presented the diverging views on the subject.
The next speaker was Eva REMIŠOVÁ (Faculty of Law, Masaryk University in Brno), who talked about the interesting issue of the right to know one’s genetic origin in the presentation titled „The right to know one´s genetic origin in relation to assisted reproduction”. In the presentation, she showed the constantly evolving methods and techniques of reproduction, and then focused on the summary of the possible answers to the controversial question of the given topic.
After this Lucie ZATLOUKALOVÁ (Masaryk University in Brno, Faculty of Law) spoke about the „The Czech Amendment to the Civil Code – Divorce with Minor Children”. The presentation focused on the amendment of the Czech Civil Code, which aims to simplify the divorce procedure for couples with minor children. The amendment is justified by the fact that the current law often results a long procedure which is not in the best interests of the divorcing spouses or the child. According to the amendment, if the spouses agree on the dissolution of the marriage, they do not need to go to court, but only need a written agreement. The legislator aims to reduce state intervention in family relationships by the modification.
The next lecture was given by Paulina RADOMSKA (Catholic University of Lublin), under the title „A child’s right to a monetary compensation due to a death of never known parent”. In her lecture, she introduced the viewpoints of the Polish case-law which questions the possibility of recognising the family relationship as a personal right and highlighted that the Article 445 of the Polish Civil Code, treats the concept of damage in an indefinite manner. The lecture drew the attention to the need to consider the far-reaching effects of the loss of a parent in the life of a child.
Mirna DZELETOVIC (University of Novi Sad), Serbian PhD student was the next speaker, who held her presentation in the topic of „Parent’s right to change a child’s residence under the Serbian law”. In her presentation, she addressed the sensitive issue of how to manage for a child’s change of residence when the parents are not living together. She explained that according to the Serbian Family Code the change of residence of a child requires the consent of both parents, regardless of whether the parents exercise parental rights jointly or not. She also pointed out that the provisions of many other laws are not in harmony with the relevant provisions of the Family Code. She also presented the almost nine years practice of the Court of Appeal of Novi Sad in this matter.
After this Domagoj DALBELLO (Catholic University of Croatia) held a presentation on the „The parents’ responsibility in children’s social and academic achievement”. In the presentation, he highlighted the importance of parents as role models for their children in learning good behaviour and personal responsibility. He also spoke about the links between parental involvement and academic achievement, the acquisition of values that are useful in an academic and social context. He also stressed the importance of parental involvement and setting boundaries for the future success of children.
The last presenter of the section was SZÉL Napsugár Ágnes (Károli Gáspár Calvinist University, Hungary) who spoke about the topic of „The family law approach of the role of children’s rights and parental responsibility in the Hungarian Civil Procedure Code – Is there an opposition?”. In her practice-oriented presentation, she highlighted the specialities of the Hungarian civil procedural law in the settlement of disputes involving children. She stressed the paramount importance of the topic, that cases where children are heard, the participation of competent and sensitive judges are vital.
After a short break, we heard examples from beyond the European models in the session “Children’s rights vs. Parental Responsibility in the World section”. In this section, international PhD students of Hungarian Doctoral Schools were invited to present their researches.
Thi Truc Giang HUYNH (University of Pécs, Hungary) the foreign PhD student of the University of Pécs held her presentation under the title of „The evolution of protecting children in Vietnamese private law”. She introduced the legal historical aspects of child protection legislation in Vietnam. She analysed the development of the legislation of the Vietnamese private law on the protection of children’s rights, namely marriage and family law and civil law.
Next, HIDAYATULLOH (University of Miskolc, Hungary), the Indonesian PhD student of the University of Miskolc presented his topic under the title of „Protection of Children’s Rights during the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of Indonesia”. He highlighted various statistics in the context of the epidemic situation, such as the fact that three quarters of households, especially those with children, have experienced a severe drop in income due to the outbreak. He stressed that fulfilling children’s rights in terms of well-being, education and protection is a challenge for parents and the state, as 84.4 million children lived in Indonesia in 2019. In his presentation, he analysed the legal aspects of child protection in Indonesia, the responsibility of the state and parents in protecting children’s rights, and how child protection standards have been implemented by the Indonesian government during the time of Covid-19.
Raed GHANEM (University of Miskolc), the international PhD student of the University of Miskolc introduced the „Children’s Rights in Light of the Syrian Crisis” topic. He highlighted ten years passed away after the Syrian war and the subsequent crises, and according to the reports of the UN agencies children have been the most affected by the situation. He stressed that there seems to be a big gap between the numbers and statistics and the provision of the law. In this context, he questioned whether the provisions of these laws for the protection of children can be implemented in exceptional circumstances such as war, and how effective can be the parental responsibility in such circumstances.
The last speaker of the second section and the conference was Gutama Namomsa DARAJE (University of Public Service, Hungary) the PhD student of the University of Public Service, with his presentation of the title „Children rights and Parental Responsibility Ethiopian Perspective”. In the presentation, he outlined the sources and specialities of the Ethiopian legal system in the area of child protection. He highlighted that absolute poverty can be blamed for the violations of children’s rights and stressed that the gaps in the protection of certain categories of children, such as children with disabilities, who continue to suffer discrimination. He stressed that the legislative environment still needs to be improved to ensure that children’s rights are more fully protected.
As a summary, it can be stated that at the “Children’s Rights Vs. Parental Responsibility” webinar conference such presentations can be listened which examined an extremely wide range of the topic of children’s rights, across countries and reflected on the challenges of our everyday live. The colourful lectures were perfectly fit together in the topic of the conference and a valuable, scientific discourse was realized.