Law Approving The Convention On Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement And Cooperation In Respect Of Parental Responsibility And Measures For The Protection Of Children, Done At The Hague On 19 October 1996 (1) (2

Original Language Title: Loi portant assentiment à la Convention concernant la compétence, la loi applicable, la reconnaissance, l'exécution et la coopération en matière de responsabilité parentale et de mesures de protection des enfants, faite à La Haye le 19 octobre 1996 (1) (2

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5 MAI 2014. - An Act respecting the Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Cooperation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children, made at The Hague on 19 October 1996 (1) (2) (3)



PHILIPPE, King of the Belgians,
To all, present and to come, Hi.
The Chambers adopted and We sanction the following:
Article 1er. This Act regulates a matter referred to in Article 77 of the Constitution.
Art. 2. The Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Cooperation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children, done at The Hague on 19 October 1996, will be fully effective.
Promulgation of this law, let us order that it be clothed with the seal of the State and published by the Belgian Monitor.
Given in Brussels on 5 May 2014.
PHILIPPE
By the King:
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,
D. REYNDERS
The Minister of Justice,
Ms. A. TURTELBOOM
Seal of the state seal:
The Minister of Justice,
Ms. A. TURTELBOOM
____
Notes
(1) Senate (www.senate.be):
Documents: 5-2321
Annales of the Senate: February 13, 2014.
House of Representatives (www.lachambre.be):
Documents: 53-3370.
Full report: 13 March 2014.
(2) See Decree of the Flemish Community of 28 November 2008 (Moniteur belge of 15 January 2009), Decree of the French Community of 13 December 2012 (Moniteur belge du 1er February 2013), Decree of the German-speaking Community of 28 March 2011 (Belgian Monitor of 29 April 2011), Order of the Joint Community Commission of 27 February 2014 (Belgian Monitor of 2 April 2014).
(3) Related states.

Convention concerning jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition, enforcement and cooperation
on parental responsibility and child protection measures
(Viewed on 19 October 1996)
States signatories to this Convention,
Considering the need to strengthen the protection of children in international situations,
Desiring to avoid conflicts between their legal systems of jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of child protection measures,
Recalling the importance of international cooperation for the protection of children,
Confirming that the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration,
Noting the need to revise the Convention of 5 October 1961 concerning the jurisdiction of the authorities and the applicable law on the protection of minors,
Desiring to establish common provisions for this purpose, taking into account the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 20 November 1989,
The following provisions were agreed:
CHAPTER Ier - APPROVAL CHAMP OF THE CONVENTION
Artikel 1.
1. The purpose of this Convention is to:
(a) to determine the State whose authorities have jurisdiction to take measures to protect the person or property of the child;
(b) to determine the law applicable by these authorities in the exercise of their jurisdiction;
(c) to determine the law applicable to parental responsibility;
(d) ensure the recognition and enforcement of protection measures in all Contracting States;
(e) to establish between the authorities of the Contracting States the necessary cooperation to achieve the objectives of the Convention.
2. For the purposes of the Convention, the term "parental responsibility" includes the parental authority or any other similar authority report that determines the rights, powers and obligations of the parents, guardian or other legal representative in respect of the person or property of the child.
Art. 2. The Convention applies to children from birth and until they reach the age of 18.
Art. 3. The measures provided for in Article 1 may include:
(a) the allocation, exercise and withdrawal of parental responsibility, as well as the delegation of parental responsibility;
(b) the right of custody, including the right relating to the care of the person of the child, and in particular the right to decide on his or her place of residence, and the right to visit, including the right to take the child for a limited period in a place other than that of his or her habitual residence;
(c) guardianship, curatorship and similar institutions;
(d) the designation and functions of any person or body responsible for the care of the person or property of the child, representing or assisting the child;
(e) the placement of the child in a foster family or in an institution, or its legal collection by kafala or a similar institution;
(f) supervision by public authorities of the care provided to the child by any person in charge of the child;
(g) the administration, conservation or disposition of the property of the child.
Art. 4. Excluded from the Convention:
(a) the establishment and challenge of filiation;
(b) the decision on adoption and the measures that prepare it, as well as the cancellation and revocation of adoption;
(c) the name and name of the child;
(d) emancipation;
(e) food obligations;
(f) trusts and estates;
(g) Social security;
(h) general public education and health measures;
(i) the measures taken as a result of criminal offences committed by children;
(j) decisions on asylum and immigration.
CHAPTER II - COMPETENCE
Art. 5.
1. The authorities, both judicial and administrative, of the Contracting State of the habitual residence of the child are competent to take measures to protect his or her person or property.
2. Subject to Article 7, in the event of a change in the habitual residence of the child in another Contracting State, the authorities of the State of the new habitual residence shall be competent.
Art. 6.
1. For refugee children and children who, as a result of unrest in their country, are internationally displaced, the authorities of the Contracting State in whose territory these children are present because of their displacement exercise the competence provided for in paragraph 1 of Article 5.
2. The provision of the preceding paragraph also applies to children whose habitual residence cannot be established.
Art. 7.
1. In the event of an unlawful displacement or non-return of the child, the authorities of the Contracting State in which the child had his or her habitual residence immediately before his or her travel or non-return shall retain their jurisdiction until the child has acquired a habitual residence in another State and that:
(a) any person, institution or other body that has the right to custody has acquired the movement or non-return; or
(b) the child has resided in that other State for a period of at least one year after the person, institution or any other body that has the right to custody has known or should have known the place where the child was located, no return request submitted during that period is still being examined, and the child has integrated into the new environment.
2. The movement or non-return of the child is considered illegal:
(a) where the child is held in violation of a right of custody, assigned to a person, institution or other body, alone or jointly, by the law of the State in which the child had his or her habitual residence immediately before his or her travel or non-return, and
(b) that the right was exercised effectively, alone or jointly, at the time of travel or non-return, or had it been exercised if such events had not occurred.
The right of custody referred to in letter (a) may, inter alia, result from the attribution of full law, a judicial or administrative decision, or an agreement in force under the law of that State.
3. As long as the authorities mentioned in paragraph 1 retain their jurisdiction, the authorities of the Contracting State where the child has been displaced or detained may take only the urgent measures necessary to protect the person or property of the child, in accordance with Article 11.
Art. 8.
1. As an exception, the authority of the competent Contracting State under Articles 5 or 6, if it considers that the authority of another Contracting State would be better able to assess in a particular case the best interests of the child, may
- to request that authority, directly or with the assistance of the Central Authority of that State, to accept the competence to take the protective measures it considers necessary,
- be sure to decide and invite the parties to seize such a request the authority of that other State.
2. Contracting States whose authority may be required or seized under the conditions specified in the preceding paragraph are:
(a) a State of nationality of the child,
(b) a State in which the property of the child is located,
(c) a State whose authority is seized of a request for divorce or separation of the child's parents, or for annulment of their marriage,
(d) a State with which the child has a close connection.
3. The authorities concerned may exchange views.
4. The authority required or seized under the conditions set out in paragraph 1 may accept the jurisdiction, in place and place of the competent authority under sections 5 or 6, if it considers that such is the best interests of the child.
Art. 9.
1. The authorities of the Contracting States referred to in Article 8, paragraph 2, if they consider that they are best able to appreciate in a particular case the best interests of the child, may
- to request the competent authority of the Contracting State of the habitual residence of the child, directly or with the assistance of the Central Authority of that State, to enable them to exercise the competence to take the necessary protective measures,
- to invite the parties to submit such a request to the authorities of the Contracting State of the habitual residence of the child.
2. The authorities concerned may exchange views.
3. The authority at the origin of the application may only exercise jurisdiction in place of the authority of the Contracting State of the habitual residence of the child if that authority has accepted the application.
Art. 10.
1. Without prejudice to Articles 5 to 9, the authorities of a Contracting State, in the exercise of their jurisdiction to hear a request for divorce or separation of the body of the parents of a child habitually resident in another Contracting State, or for annulment of their marriage, may take, if the law of their State permits, measures to protect the person or property of the child,
(a) if, at the beginning of the proceedings, one of the parents usually resides in that State and one of them has parental responsibility for the child, and
(b) if the jurisdiction of these authorities to take such measures has been accepted by the parents, as well as by any other person with parental responsibility in respect of the child, and if that jurisdiction is in accordance with the best interests of the child.
2. The jurisdiction provided for in paragraph 1 to take measures to protect the child shall cease as long as the decision to grant or reject the request for divorce, separation of body or annulment of marriage has become final or the procedure has ended for another reason.
Art. 11.
1. In all emergency cases, the authorities of each Contracting State in the territory of which the child is located or the property belonging to the child are competent to take the necessary protective measures.
2. The measures taken pursuant to the preceding paragraph in respect of a child who has his habitual residence in a Contracting State cease to have effect as soon as the competent authorities under Articles 5 to 10 have taken the measures required by the situation.
3. The measures taken pursuant to paragraph 1 with respect to a child having his habitual residence in a non-contracting State shall cease to have effect in each Contracting State as soon as the measures required by the situation are recognized, taken by the authorities of another State.
Art. 12.
1. Subject to Article 7, the authorities of a Contracting State in the territory of which the child or property of the child is located are competent to take measures to protect the person or property of the child, having a restricted provisional character and territorial effectiveness to that State, provided that such measures are not incompatible with those already taken by the competent authorities under Articles 5 to 10.
2. The measures taken pursuant to the preceding paragraph in respect of a child who has his habitual residence in a Contracting State cease to have effect as soon as the competent authorities under Articles 5 to 10 have ruled on the measures that the situation might require.
3. The measures taken pursuant to paragraph 1 with respect to a child having his habitual residence in a non-contracting State shall cease to have effect in the Contracting State where they have been taken as soon as the measures required by the situation are recognized, taken by the authorities of another State.
Art. 13.
1. The authorities of a Contracting State which are competent in accordance with Articles 5 to 10 to take measures to protect the person or property of the child shall refrain from deciding whether, at the time of the introduction of the procedure, corresponding measures have been requested by the authorities of another Contracting State then competent under Articles 5 to 10 and are still being examined.
2. The provision of the preceding paragraph does not apply if the authorities to whom the request for action was originally filed have waived their jurisdiction.
Art. 14. Measures taken pursuant to Articles 5 to 10 remain in force within the limits that are theirs, even when a change of circumstances has eliminated the element on which jurisdiction was based, as long as the competent authorities under the Convention have not altered, replaced or lifted.
CHAPTER III - LOI APPLICABLE
Art. 15.
1. In the exercise of their competence under the provisions of Chapter II, the authorities of the Contracting States shall apply their law.
2. However, to the extent that the protection of the person or property of the child requires it, they may exceptionally apply or take into account the law of another State with which the situation is closely related.
3. In the event of a change in the habitual residence of the child in another Contracting State, the law of that other State shall govern, from the time the change occurred, the conditions for the application of the measures taken in the State of the former habitual residence.
Art. 16.
1. The attribution or termination of a parental responsibility, without intervention by a judicial or administrative authority, is governed by the law of the State of the habitual residence of the child.
2. The attribution or termination of parental responsibility by a unilateral agreement or act, without intervention by a judicial or administrative authority, is governed by the law of the State of the habitual residence of the child at the time the agreement or unilateral act takes effect.
3. The parental responsibility existing according to the law of the State of the habitual residence of the child remains after the change of this habitual residence in another State.
4. In the event of a change in the habitual residence of the child, the right of parental responsibility to a person who is not already invested in that responsibility is governed by the law of the State of the new habitual residence.
Art. 17. The exercise of parental responsibility is governed by the law of the State of the habitual residence of the child. In the event of a change in the habitual residence of the child, it is governed by the law of the State of the new habitual residence.
Art. 18. The parental responsibility provided for in Article 16 may be withdrawn or its conditions of exercise modified by measures taken under the Convention.
Art. 19.
1. The validity of an act between a third party and another person who would have the status of legal representative according to the law of the State where the act has been passed cannot be contested, nor the liability of the third party engaged, for the sole reason that the other person did not have the status of legal representative under the law designated by the provisions of this chapter, unless the third party knew or was to know that parental responsibility was governed by that law.
2. The preceding paragraph applies only in the case where the act was passed between persons present in the territory of the same State.
Art. 20. The provisions of this chapter shall apply even if the law they designate is that of a non-contracting State.
Art. 21.
1. For the purposes of this chapter, the term "law" means the law in force in a State, excluding the rules of conflict of laws.
2. However, if the law applicable under Article 16 is that of a non-contracting State and that the rules of conflict of that State designate the law of another non-contracting State that would apply its own law, the law of that other State is applicable. If the law of that other non-contracting State is not applicable, the applicable law shall be that referred to in Article 16.
Art. 22. The application of the law referred to in the provisions of this chapter may only be ruled out if this application is manifestly contrary to public order, given the best interests of the child.
CHAPTER IV - RECOGNITION AND EXECUTION
Art. 23.
1. The measures taken by the authorities of a Contracting State shall be recognized in full law in the other Contracting States.
2. However, recognition may be refused:
(a) if the measure was taken by an authority whose jurisdiction was not based on a supervisory authority under Chapter II;
(b) if the measure has been taken, in the absence of an emergency, within the framework of a judicial or administrative procedure, without giving the child the opportunity to be heard, in violation of the basic principles of procedure of the requested State;
(c) at the request of any person claiming that this measure infringes upon his or her parental responsibility, if this measure was taken, in the absence of an emergency, without the possibility of hearing to that person;
(d) if recognition is manifestly contrary to the public order of the requested State, taking into account the best interests of the child;
(e) if the measure is incompatible with a measure taken later in the non-contracting State of the habitual residence of the child, where the measure meets the conditions necessary for recognition in the requested State;
(f) if the procedure provided for in Article 33 has not been complied with.
Art. 24. Without prejudice to Article 23, paragraph 1, any interested person may apply to the competent authorities of a Contracting State for a decision on the recognition or non-recognition of a measure taken in another Contracting State. The procedure is governed by the law of the requested State.
Art. 25. The authority of the requested State is bound by the de facto findings on which the authority of the State that has taken the measure has founded its jurisdiction.
Art. 26.
1. If the measures taken in a Contracting State and which are enforceable include acts of execution in another Contracting State, they shall, in that other State, be declared enforceable or registered for the purpose of enforcement, upon request of any party concerned, in accordance with the procedure provided by the law of that State.
2. Each Contracting State shall apply a simple and prompt procedure to the declaration of execution or registration.
3. The statement of exequatur or registration may only be refused on any of the grounds provided for in section 23, paragraph 2.
Art. 27. Subject to what is necessary for the application of the preceding articles, the authority of the requested State shall not carry out any revisions to the substance of the measure taken.
Art. 28. The measures taken in a Contracting State, which are declared enforceable or registered for execution in another Contracting State, shall be enforced as if they were taken by the authorities of that other State. The enforcement of the measures is carried out in accordance with the law of the requested State within the limits provided for therein, taking into account the best interests of the child.
CHAPTER V - COOPERATION
Art. 29.
1. Each Contracting State shall designate a Central Authority to fulfil its obligations under the Convention.
2. A federal State, a State in which several systems of law are in force or a State with autonomous territorial units is free to designate more than one Central Authority and specify the territorial or personal scope of their functions. The State which makes use of this faculty shall designate the Central Authority to which any communication may be sent for transmission to the competent Central Authority within that State.
Art. 30.
1. The Central Authorities must cooperate with each other and promote cooperation between the competent authorities of their State in achieving the objectives of the Convention.
2. They shall, within the framework of the application of the Convention, take appropriate measures to provide information on their legislation, as well as on the services available in their State in the area of child protection.
Art. 31. The Central Authority of a Contracting State shall, either directly or with the assistance of public authorities or other bodies, take all appropriate measures to:
(a) facilitate communications and provide assistance under sections 8 and 9 and this chapter;
(b) Facilitate by mediation, conciliation or any other similar means, friendly agreements on the protection of the person or property of the child, in situations to which the Convention applies;
(c) assist, upon request of a competent authority of another Contracting State, to locate the child when it appears that the child is present in the territory of the requested State and needs protection.
Art. 32. On a reasoned request from the Central Authority or another competent authority of a Contracting State with which the child has a close connection, the Central Authority of the Contracting State in which the child has his or her habitual residence and in which he or she is present may, either directly or with the assistance of public authorities or other bodies,
(a) provide a report on the situation of the child;
(b) request the competent authority of its State to examine the opportunity to take measures to protect the person or property of the child.
Art. 33.
1. Where the competent authority under Articles 5 to 10 envisages the placement of the child in a foster family or in an institution, or its legal collection by kafala or by a similar institution, and that such placement or collection shall take place in another Contracting State, it shall consult with the Central Authority or another competent authority of the latter State. To this end, the child is provided with a report on the child and the reasons for his proposal on placement or collection.
2. The decision on placement or collection may only be taken in the requesting State if the Central Authority or other competent authority of the requested State has approved this placement or collection, taking into account the best interests of the child.
Art. 34.
1. Where a protective measure is considered, the competent authorities under the Convention may, if so required by the child's situation, request any authority of another Contracting State that holds information useful to the child's protection to communicate to the child.
2. Each Contracting State may declare that the requests provided for in paragraph 1 may only be forwarded through its Central Authority.
Art. 35.
1. The competent authorities of a Contracting State may request the authorities of another Contracting State to assist in the implementation of protective measures taken under the Convention, in particular to ensure the effective exercise of a right of visit, as well as the right to maintain regular direct contacts.
2. The authorities of a Contracting State in which the child does not have his or her habitual residence may, at the request of a parent residing in that State and wishing to obtain or maintain a right of access, collect information or evidence and decide on the ability of that parent to exercise the right of access and the conditions under which he or she may exercise it. The competent authority under sections 5 to 10 to determine the right to visit shall, before making a determination, take into account such information, evidence or conclusions.
3. A competent authority under sections 5 to 10 to rule on the right to visit may suspend the procedure until the end of the procedure provided for in paragraph 2, particularly when it is seized of a request to amend or delete the right of access conferred by the authorities of the State of the former habitual residence.
4. This article does not prevent a competent authority under Articles 5 to 10 from taking interim measures until the end of the procedure provided for in paragraph 2.
Art. 36. In the event that the child is exposed to a serious danger, the competent authorities of the Contracting State in which measures for the protection of the child have been taken or are in the process of being taken, if they are informed of the change of residence or the presence of the child in another State, notify the authorities of that State of this danger and of the measures taken or under consideration.
Art. 37. An authority may not request or transmit information under this chapter if it is of the opinion that such a request or transmission could endanger the person or property of the child, or constitute a serious threat to the freedom or life of a member of his or her family.
Art. 38.
1. Without prejudice to the possibility of claiming reasonable costs for the services provided, the Central Authorities and other public authorities of the Contracting States shall bear their costs arising from the application of the provisions of this chapter.
2. A Contracting State may enter into agreements with one or more other Contracting States on the apportionment of costs.
Art. 39. Any Contracting State may enter into agreements with one or more other Contracting States with a view to promoting in their mutual relations the application of this chapter. States that have concluded such agreements shall transmit a copy thereof to the depositary of the Convention.
CHAPTER VI - GENERAL PROVISIONS
Art. 40.
1. The authorities of the Contracting State of the habitual residence of the child or of the Contracting State in which a measure of protection has been taken may issue to the holder of parental responsibility or to any person entrusted with the protection of the person or property of the child, at his or her request, a certificate indicating the quality and powers conferred upon him or her.
2. The quality and powers specified by the certificate shall be established unless otherwise proved.
3. Each Contracting State shall designate the authorities authorized to establish the certificate.
Art. 41. Personal data collected or transmitted in accordance with the Convention may not be used for any purpose other than those for which it has been collected or transmitted.
Art. 42. The authorities to which information is transmitted shall ensure confidentiality in accordance with the law of their State.
Art. 43. Documents transmitted or issued under the Convention shall be exempted from legalization or similar formality.
Art. 44. Each Contracting State may designate the authorities to whom requests under Articles 8, 9 and 33 shall be sent.
Art. 45.
1. The designations referred to in articles 29 and 44 shall be communicated to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
2. The declaration referred to in article 34, paragraph 2, shall be made to the depositary of the Convention.
Art. 46. A Contracting State in which different systems of law or sets of rules apply in respect of the protection of the child and its property is not required to apply the rules of the Convention to conflicts only with respect to these different systems or sets of rules.
Art. 47. With regard to a State in which two or more systems of law or sets of rules relating to matters governed by this Convention apply in different territorial units:
1. any reference to the habitual residence in that State shall apply to the habitual residence in a territorial unit;
2. any reference to the presence of the child in that State shall apply to the presence of the child in a territorial unit;
3. any reference to the situation of the property of the child in that State shall apply to the situation of the property of the child in a territorial unit;
4. any reference to the State of which the child possesses the nationality is to the territorial unit designated by the law of that State or, in the absence of any relevant rules, the territorial unit with which the child has the closest link;
5. any reference to the State of which an authority is seized of a request for divorce or separation of the body of the parents of the child, or for annulment of their marriage, shall apply to the territorial unit of which an authority is seized of such a request;
6. any reference to the State with which the child has a close relationship is to the territorial unity with which the child has this connection;
7. any reference to the State where the child has been moved or retained is to the territorial unit in which the child has been moved or retained;
8. any reference to the bodies or authorities of that State, other than the Central Authorities, shall apply to the bodies or authorities authorized to act in the territorial unit concerned;
9. any reference to the law, procedure or authority of the State where a measure has been taken applies to the law, procedure or authority of the territorial unit to which that measure has been taken;
10. any reference to the law, procedure or authority of the requested State shall apply to the law, procedure or authority of the territorial unit in which recognition or enforcement is invoked.
Art. 48. In order to identify the law applicable under Chapter III, where a State includes two or more territorial units each of which has its own system of law or a set of rules relating to matters governed by this Convention, the following rules apply:
(a) in the presence of rules in force in that State identifying the territorial unit whose law is applicable, the law of that unit shall apply;
(b) in the absence of such rules, the law of territorial unity as defined in the provisions of section 47 shall apply.
Art. 49. To identify the law applicable under Chapter III, where a State includes two or more systems of law or sets of rules applicable to different categories of persons for matters governed by this Convention, the following rules apply:
(a) in the presence of rules in force in that State identifying which of these laws is applicable, this Act applies;
(b) in the absence of such rules, the law of the system or set of rules with which the child has the closest link applies.
Art. 50. This Convention does not affect the Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in Relations between the Parties to the two Conventions. However, there is nothing to prevent any provisions of this Convention from being invoked to obtain the return of a child who has been illegally displaced or detained or to organize the right to visit.
Art. 51. In the relations between the Contracting States, this Convention supersedes the Convention of 5 October 1961 concerning the jurisdiction of the authorities and the law applicable to the protection of minors and the Convention to regulate the guardianship of minors, signed at The Hague on 12 June 1902, without prejudice to the recognition of the measures taken under the Convention of 5 October 1961 referred to above.
Art. 52.
1. The Convention does not derogate from the international instruments to which Contracting States are Parties and which contain provisions on matters governed by this Convention, unless a declaration to the contrary is made by States bound by such instruments.
2. The Convention does not affect the possibility for one or more Contracting States to enter into agreements that contain, with respect to children usually resident in one of the States Parties to such agreements, provisions on matters governed by this Convention.
3. Agreements to be concluded by one or more Contracting States on matters governed by this Convention shall not affect, in the relations of these States with other Contracting States, the application of the provisions of this Convention.
4. The preceding paragraphs also apply to uniform laws based on the existence between the States concerned of special ties, particularly of a regional nature.
Art. 53.
1. The Convention applies only to measures taken in a State after the entry into force of the Convention for that State.
2. The Convention applies to the recognition and enforcement of the measures taken after its entry into force in the relations between the State where the measures were taken and the State required.
Art. 54.
1. Any communication to the Central Authority or any other authority of a Contracting State shall be addressed in the original language and accompanied by a translation into the official language or any of the official languages of that Contracting State or, where this translation is difficultly feasible, of a translation into French or English.
2. However, a Contracting State may, by making the reservation provided for in Article 60, oppose the use of either French or English.
Art. 55.
1. A Contracting State may, in accordance with Article 60:
(a) to reserve the jurisdiction of its authorities to take measures to protect the property of a child in its territory;
(b) reserves the right not to recognize parental responsibility or a measure that would be incompatible with a measure taken by its authorities in relation to such property.
2. The reserve may be restricted to certain categories of property.
Art. 56. The Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law periodically convenes a Special Commission to examine the practical functioning of the Convention.
CHAPTER VII - FINAL CLAUSES
Art. 57.
1. The Convention is open for signature by States that were Members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law at its eighteenth session.
2. It will be ratified, accepted or approved and instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval will be deposited with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, depositary of the Convention.
Art. 58.
1. Any other State may accede to the Convention after its entry into force under Article 61, paragraph 1.
2. The instrument of accession shall be deposited with the depositary.
3. The accession shall have effect only in the relations between the acceding State and the Contracting States that have not raised any objection to it within six months after the receipt of the notification provided for in Article 63, letter (b). Such an objection may also be raised by any State at the time of ratification, acceptance or approval of the Convention, subsequent to accession. These objections will be notified to the depositary.
Art. 59.
1. A State that includes two or more territorial units in which different systems of law apply to matters governed by this Convention may, at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, declare that the Convention shall apply to all its territorial units or only to one or more of them, and may at any time modify this declaration by making a new declaration.
2. These declarations will be notified to the depositary and will expressly indicate the territorial units to which the Convention applies.
3. If a State does not make a declaration under this article, the Convention shall apply to the entire territory of that State.
Art. 60.
1. Any Contracting State may, at the latest at the time of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, or at the time of a declaration made under Article 59, make either one or both reservations provided for in Articles 54, paragraph 2, and 55. No other reservation will be allowed.
2. Any State may, at any time, withdraw a reservation that it has made. This withdrawal will be notified to the depositary.
3. The effect of the reservation will cease on the first day of the third month of the calendar after the notification referred to in the preceding paragraph.
Art. 61.
1. The Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval provided for in Article 57.
2. Subsequently, the Convention will enter into force:
(a) for each ratifying, accepting or approving State after the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession;
(b) for each acceding State, on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the expiration of the six-month period provided for in Article 58, paragraph 3;
(c) for territorial units to which the Convention was extended in accordance with Article 59, on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of three months after the notification referred to in this Article.
Art. 62.
1. Any State Party to the Convention may denounce it by a written notification to the depositary. Denunciation may be limited to certain territorial units to which the Convention applies.
2. The denunciation shall take effect on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of twelve months after the date of receipt of the notification by the depositary. Where a longer period for the effective taking of the denunciation is specified in the notification, the denunciation shall take effect upon the expiry of the period in question.
Art. 63. The depositary shall notify the States members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the States which have acceded in accordance with the provisions of Article 58:
(a) the signatures, ratifications, acceptances and approvals referred to in Article 57;
(b) accessions and objections to accessions referred to in article 58;
(c) the date on which the Convention will enter into force in accordance with the provisions of Article 61;
(d) the statements referred to in articles 34, paragraph 2, and 59;
(e) the agreements referred to in Article 39;
(f) the reservations referred to in articles 54, paragraph 2, and 55 and the withdrawal of reservations under Article 60, paragraph 2;
(g) the denunciations referred to in section 62.
In faith, the undersigned, duly authorized, have signed this Convention.
Done at The Hague, on 19 October 1996, in French and English, both texts being equally authentic, in a single copy, to be deposited in the archives of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and a certified true copy to be handed to each of the States members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law at the Eighteenth Session.

LIST OF LIES

Statements
"In accordance with Article 34, paragraph 2, of the 1996 Hague Convention, the requests referred to in Article 34, paragraph 1er, may only be routed through its Central Authority. "
"In accordance with Article 29 of the 1996 Hague Convention, the Federal Public Service Justice is designated as the Central Authority. "
"In accordance with Article 44 of the 1996 Hague Convention, the Federal Public Service Justice is designated as an authority to which the requests under Articles 8, 9 and 33 of the Convention must be sent. "