LEPCA IIn 2012 the Center IKO started the LEPCA I project with MiKK as a partner and 9 other Associate Partners. The aim of the project was to make an inventory of family lawyers in Europe representing parents in international child abduction cases and looking into the possibility to create an European platform for this target group. Firstly, a questionnaire was sent to family lawyers in all 28 Member States of the European Union. The results gained by this research gave an insight into the way the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention and the European legislation were applied by lawyers in their daily practice.
In May 2014 over 200 specialists in the field of international child abduction met at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands. The main objective was to inventory the knowledge and experience of family lawyers representing parents in international child abduction cases and additionally to learn from best practices and exchanging ideas. The lawyers encouraged the establishment of the LEPCA network. Furthermore, the lawyers stressed that two key points were essential: education and interaction & trust between the LEPCA lawyers. These two key points will lead to better representation of the parents and children inside and outside the courts.
The conclusion was that the LEPCA network should be created that provides for the exchange of case law, expertise, advice on the law of different jurisdictions, as well as organisation of training sessions regarding the application of international and European rules in cross-border family matters such as international parental child abduction. The Center IKO, who organised the conference together with MiKK and with the support of the European Union, was appointed to establish the network by the participants.
The outcomes of the questionnaire and the conference are published in a final report which is presented to the European Commission. Here you can find the LEPCA report.