The Act gives the force of law to the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children. The Minister said “I welcome the coming into force of this, the third of the Hague Children’s Conventions. It will bring enhanced protection to children in transnational families in relation to a wide range of civil measures of protection concerning children, including orders concerning parental responsibility and contact, public measures of protection or care, and matters relating to the protection of children’s property.”
A Central Authority for the International Protection of Children in the Department of Justice and Law Reform will perform the functions arising from the Convention. The functions of the central authority are of an administrative nature involving co-operation with the central authorities of other contracting states and providing information to authorities in other jurisdictions on the law and services in the State relating to the protection of children.
Areas of co-operation include providing assistance in locating a child who may be in need of protection, providing a social report on the situation of the child, facilitating agreed solutions for the protection of the child or the property of the child on the request of another contracting state.
Ireland was among the first states to legislate for the Convention but ratification of it by EU states was delayed pending resolution of issues of EU competence and authorisation.