Multilateral : Conferencia de la Haya de Derecho Internacional Privado (HCCH)

The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH)

The Hague Conference on Private International Law was established to codify private international law at the international level. Several attempts to do so, in Europe, had failed before the first time the Conference met on 12 September, 1893. Such attempts were made by the Italian jurist Mancini, together with Dutch Tobias Carel Asser.  The latter is credited with the birth of the Hague Conference and was elected to lead the first Conference, the culmination of thirty years of efforts, in which thirteen European states participated.

The Statute giving the Conference the status of international intergovernmental organization took effect on 15 July, 1955.

The governing body of the Conference is the Council on General Affairs and Policy, which is made up of all its Members. It meets, in principle, on a yearly basis.

The Permanent Bureau is composed of a Secretary General and four Secretaries who are appointed by the Government of that country to the Commission proposal of State.

Special Committees, in which experts meet from various Member States who have expressed their desire to participate, operate between the Sessions, prepare draft agreements or address issues of private international law within the mandate of the Conference. Ecuador participated in the 2007 Special Commission in which The Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance was adopted and in the Commission that monitors this Convention’s implementation and the feasibility of assigning a protocol to the Convention, which was held in October 2009.  It has also participated in the Special Commission on the Implementation of the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption in April 2010.

Ecuador in The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH)

Upon adhering to the Statute, Ecuador became a Member State of The Hague Conference on Private International Law, on 15 November, 2007.  Membership allows States to participate and vote in the two annual meetings of the Council on General Affairs and Policy that take place during the months of April and October.  This is the body responsible for directing the work of the Permanent Bureau and approving the budget of the Conference and the texts of the new instruments. Ecuador named the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration, Directorate General of Legal Counsel, as Central Authority.

Ecuador is party to the following Conventions:

Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, also known as the Apostille Convention.

This Convention was developed to facilitate the circulation of public documents executed in one State party to the Convention in another State that is also part of the Convention. The addition of a seal or small document called an Apostille will allow the user to avoid long document legalization procedures.

Ecuador acceded to this Convention on 2 July, 2004, which became effective on 2 April, 2005. The competent authority is the Directorate General of Legalisation the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration.

Convention of 25 October, 1980, on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

The object of this agreement is not the determination of the custody of a minor moved unlawfully to a country in which the minor does not have habitual residence but rather that the actions of the child abductor who takes refuge in another State require practical and legal consequences through securing “the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in any Contracting State” (Art. 1a of the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction).

Ecuador adhered to this Convention on 22 January, 1992, which entered into force on 1 April of the same year.  The National Authority designated to this Convention is the National Council for Childhood and Adolescence.

Convention of 29 May, 1993, on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption

This Convention applies when a child with habitual residence in a Contracting State, State of origin, will be moved to another Contracting State, the receiving State, by virtue of which an adoption by spouses or a person ordinarily residing in a Contracting State that is not that of the adopted or adoptable child.

Ecuador signed this Convention on 3 May, 1994, ratified it on 7 September, 1995, and it became effective on 1 January, 1996.  

Convention of 19 October, 1996, on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children

This Convention contains rules to determine who the competent authorities are for taking necessary measures to protect a child who is in another State other than that of their usual residence and determine the applicable law.

Ecuador joined this international instrument on 5 November 5, 2002, which came into force on 1 September, 2003.

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