Possible problems after 31 December 2020
- One of the more problematic areas may come in relation to enforcement of judgments under Articles 26 and 28 of the 1996 Convention. As I've said, the declaration of enforceability from the State of enforcement is a precondition for enforcing the judgment. The danger that this would mean is that PR & R cases will become more expensive and their judgements will become difficult to enforce because every State will have a different procedure in relation to how they enforce an order. Therefore the cost and time involved will be determined by the national rules or the procedure of the State of enforcement. So not only will the procedure involved in obtaining a declaration and enforceability will be different in each State, so will the procedure for enforcement, as procedure for enforcement again will also be dealt with by the national rules of each State.
- Rights of access orders will no longer be automatically enforceable.
- There is no Legal Aid available under the 1996 Convention, unlike the 1980 Hague Convention if you are going through the central authorities.
- Although after 31 December 2020 the 1980 Hague Convention and the 1996 Convention will be in place to deal with international parental child abduction, the additional measures (that I described above) that were available for European cases under BIIR are no longer there
Other possible problems after 31 December 2020
- Service of Court documents within the EU may be effected. You cannot use the EU Service Convention after 31 December 2020. You can use the 1965 Hague Convention, but not all Countries are signed up to this and for example, even for ones that are, Germany, for example, does not allow postal service when using the Convention.
- The EU Domestic Protection Regulation does not apply. The UK has said that they would recognise EU Protection Orders but were not sure of the EU position. The 1996 Hague Convention can be used though for Protection Orders in certain scenarios.
- The Lugano Convention (which is used to clarify which national Courts have jurisdiction and cross border disputes in civil cases and enforcement of civil judgments) is currently operating, but the EU needs to consent to the UK signing up permanently to it and at the time of writing, that has yet to happen.
All family lawyers are going to have to get used to the changes that will shortly be upon us after 31 December 2020. Child law cases in particular can be urgent and speed can often be a necessity so getting to know the changes will be a high priority for international family lawyers in particular.
 Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters
 Regulation (EU) No: 606/2013) of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 are mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters
 Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters