The project is divided into five work packages (WPs). The aim of WP1 is to ensure efficient management and coordination of the project. The objectives of the project itself are reflected in the substantive WPs 2 to 5.
WP2: Local Workshops
WP 2 addresses Objective 1 of the project and involves the organisation of a series of workshops in the UK, Germany, Italy and Croatia (‘local workshops’). The workshops will bring together relevant professionals (i.e. key stakeholders) and provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge and practical experience at the national level. The workshop participants will include judges and legal practitioners with expertise in the area of the protection of victims of domestic violence and/or parental child abduction; public authorities, including relevant social authorities, representatives of the Central Authorities designated under the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention and the Brussels IIa Regulation; the police; NGOs and other civil society actors active in the area of the protection of victims of domestic violence and/or parental child abduction, and domestic violence counsellors, as appropriate for the individual participating Member State.
There will be two local workshops in the UK, Croatia, Italy and Germany respectively. The workshops will be one-day events, and each will be attended by approximately 20 participants. The research team will utilise the workshops as a means of information gathering and networking.
WP3: Draft Best Practice Guide & Draft Training Materials
In WP 3 the research team will develop a Draft Best Practice Guide for the application of the Protection Measures Regulation and the European Protection Order Directive in child abduction cases committed against the background of domestic violence. Information gathered through the local workshops organised in WP 2 will serve as a basis for the development of the Draft Best Practice Guide. This information will be supplemented by desk research into the Protection Measures Regulation and the European Protection Order Directive in the specific context of child abduction, which will examine relevant primary and secondary sources and will be carried out by the research partners in their respective Member States.
Drawing from the Draft Best Practice Guide and other relevant information gathered in WPs 2 and 3, the research team will then draft the Training Materials. The Draft Guide and Draft Training Materials will be further refined in WP 4 based on feedback from the Project Workshop.
WP4: Project Workshop
The objectives of WP4 include organising and holding a joint workshop (‘Project Workshop’) and revising and refining the Draft Training Materials for use in WP 5.
The Project Workshop will bring together the research partners, key professionals from the UK, Croatia, Germany and Italy, representing different categories of relevant stakeholders (i.e. judges, legal practitioners, public authorities, including Central Authorities, social authorities and the police; NGOs, other civil society actors and domestic violence counsellors), and National Points of Contact from selected non-participating EU Member States (i.e. Spain and Slovenia) and one EU candidate country – Serbia. The National Points of Contact will present national reports on the protection of victims of domestic violence in the context of parental child abduction in their respective jurisdictions. The Project Workshop will provide a platform for the exchange of experience across the represented States, and the results will serve as a basis for refining the Draft Training Materials developed in WP 3. The Project Workshop will be hosted by the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy, and will be attended by up to 50 participants. (NB: update 19/6/20 – the workshop was held on the Collaborate online virtual platform in view of the present pandemic, and successfully brought together 40 experts from 10 countries)
WP5: Training Delivery
WP 5 implements objectives 2 and 3 of the project. As such, the delivery of training and the academic dissemination of the project will both be carried out within the timeframe of this WP.
First, the research team will deliver training on the application of the Protection Measures Regulation and the European Protection Order Directive in the specific context of parental child abduction cases committed against the background of domestic violence, with the view of strengthening the protection of abducting mothers fleeing domestic violence. Each research partner will organise two training sessions in their respective Member State, targeting key stakeholders.
Second, the project results will be disseminated across the academic community in two ways. First, through a journal article, which will be published in a peer-reviewed academic journal such as the Journal of Private International Law. Second, through academic conference which will be organised and hosted by the University of Münich, Germany. The Conference will be a one-day event, which will be attended by estimated 50 participants.