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Child Abduction Mediation

Child Abduction Mediation

How often do you encounter these child abduction mediation cases?

 

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Well, of course I don’t have any statistics to hand, but in my own work, I mean Ireland is a small enough country so it’s not something I do every day of the week. I would often work with cross-cultural couples, even in the context of domestic family mediation where, say, there’s a Polish mother and an Irish father who are separating, and that would obviously bring in a lot of the process models and skills. In terms of child abduction cases, in Ireland I think there’s something like 350 cases go before the courts every year, or are live before the courts, in Ireland. The big task that we have now is diverting those cases into mediation.

 

We do have cases but they’re just confined to a few a year at this stage. Really there’s a huge amount of work to be done on awareness raising, that mediation is actually an option. Because when you think of Hague Convention proceedings and the legal processes that follow an international child abduction. Mediation is probably not the first thing one would think of as an option to resolve these cases. So there’s a lot of work to be done on that.

 

We were involved in a few projects here in Ireland. We launched the Irish Centre for International Family Mediation based in N.U.I. Galway, the University of Galway, last year, with a very successful conference where we had a number of really experienced trainers, mediators and judges in this area.

 

On the international front, I’ve been involved with a project which has been run by the International Social Services so one that extends beyond the remit of the EU who are just about to. . . Myself and a panel of other people who work in this area, we’re involved in the writing and preparation of a handbook for families on international family mediation. That is going to be published, literally, in the next week or two so that is a very thorough comprehensive handbook, initially aimed at families but obviously for all professionals that work in this area, which really explores the process, the options, the concerns around international family mediation. So that’ll be a very valuable resource I think.

About the mediator

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Sabine became a full time mediator having left legal practice in 2009. She has a broad ranging private practice. She is Programme Director and Lecturer on the Postgraduate Certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution at St. Angela’s College, Sligo (NUIG), and also provides mediation training for other agencies, including the Law Society. She is a certified international family mediator, a trained Professional Practice Consultant and hold... View Mediator