Current issues in the protection of adults from the perspective of Private International Law

Autor:Maria Álvarez Torné
Cargo:Lecturer of Private International Law at the University of Barcelona
Páginas:1-18
www.reei.org
DOI: 10.17103/reei.32.08
CURRENT ISSUES IN THE PROTECTION OF ADULTS
FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF PRIVATE
INTERNATIONAL LAW
CUESTIONES ACTUALES EN MATERIA DE PROTECCIÓN
DE ADULTOS DESDE LA PERSPECTIVA DEL DERECHO
INTERNACIONAL PRIVADO
Maria Álvarez Torné
Summary: I. BACKGROUND: THE SOCIOLOGICAL AND LEGAL REALITY FROM
THE PERSPECTIVE OF PR IVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW FOCUSED ON CHILDREN
TO THE PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW PROTECTIVE OF ADULTS. II. THE
IMPACT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION O N THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS
WITH DISABILITIES OF 2006. III. REGULATION AND SCOPE OF THE HAGUE
CONVENTION OF 2000 ON THE INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION OF ADULTS AND
ITS COMPATIBILITY WITH OTHER INTERNATIONAL LEGAL INSTRUMENTS. IV.
THE ROLE OF SPANISH NATIONAL RULES ON PR IVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW IN
THE PRESENT SITUATION. V. FINAL CONSIDERATIONS AND FUTURE
PERSPECTIVES.
ABSTRACT: This paper aims to analyze the current situation on the international protection of adults from
the perspective of Private International La w (hereinafter PIL) in the particular context of the EU territory.
In this regard, it highlights some particularly controversial points and future prospects. For this purpose it
examines in particular the lack of a specific EU Regulation to address this matter, and also the existence
of certain international conventions dealing with some aspects in this area. Adopting the p erspective of
the Member S tates, in particular that of Spain, the delicate question of the interaction between legal
sources and the need to improve the legal situation of vulnerable adults in international cases is analyzed.
In this respect, a set of lege ferenda measures is proposed, whic h are aimed at building a framework that
effectively enables the appropriate treatment of all the aspects regarding PIL in this area.
RESUMEN: El presente tra bajo pretende analizar cuál es la situación a ctual desde la óptica del Derecho
internacio nal pr ivado en materia de protección internacional de adultos en el contexto par ticular del
territor io de la UE, y desta car en ta l sentido algunos puntos especia lmente contr overtidos y las
perspectivas de futuro. Se examina en par ticular a tal efecto la falta de un Reglamento específico de la
UE que abor de la materia , y también la existencia de cier tos convenios internacionales q ue se ocupan de
algunos aspectos en este ámbito. Adoptando la perspectiva de los Estados miembros, y en particula r la
Fecha de recepción del original: 20 de octubre de 2016. Fecha de aceptació n de la versión final: 2 de
diciembre de 2016.
Dr. Maria Álvarez Torné, LL.M., tenure-track lecturer (profesora lectora) of Private International Law at
the University of Barcelona (a ccredited as tenured assistant professor, profesora a gregada). Former
guest lecturer (DAAD-Gastdozentin) at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. E-mail:
mariaalvarez@ub.edu
[32] REVISTA ELECTRÓNICA DE ESTUDIOS INTERNACIONALES (2016)
- 2 -
DOI: 10.17103/reei.32.08
de España, se a naliza la delicada cuestión de la inter acción de las fuentes lega les y l a necesida d de
mejorar la situación jurídica de los adultos vulnerables en supuestos interna cionales. Se proponen al
respecto una serie de medidas de lege ferenda enfocadas a construir un marco que posibilite
efectivamente un tratamiento adecua do de todos los aspectos de DIPr en este terreno.
KEY WORDS: International protection of adults, Private International Law in the EU, Human right s, United
Nations Convention on the Rights of Per sons with Disabilities of 2006, Hague Convention of 2000 on the
International Protection of Adults, powers of representation.
PALABRAS CLAVE: Protección inter nacional de a dultos, Derecho interna cional pr ivado en la UE,
Derechos hu manos, Convención de las Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos de las personas con
discapa cidad de 2006, Convenio de La Haya de 2000 sobre Protección Internaciona l de los Adultos,
poderes de r epresentación.
I. BACKGROUND: THE SOCIOLOGICAL AND LEGAL REALITY FROM THE
PERSPECTIVE OF PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW FOCUSED ON CHILDREN
TO THE PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW PROTECTIVE OF ADULTS
The Working document on the protection of vulnerable adults of the EU of November
2015,
1 notes that there are 50 million people aged over 80 years worldwide, a figure that
UN studies raise up to an estimate of 137 million by 2025. The analyses of these
institutions regarding the international protection of adults stress that the vulnerability
of these people is not only associated with age, but also with other limiting factors,
mental or physical, linked to restrictions on the management of certain aspects of their
life or their assets.2 One factor that should be noted in this context is the geographical
mobility of citizens, so that it is increasingly common that people live in a country other
than that of their nationality. This phenomenon does not mean that the needs of adults
remain always covered, and the severe and lengthy economic crisis has meant that all
risk groups in society, including vulnerable adults, can more easily find themselves in a
situation of helplessness which require urgent and appropriate responses.3
Some authors have described PIL in the twentieth century as mainly focused on
children, and in this regard it should be emphasized that measures for the international
protection of vulnerable adults have not received the same attention as those adopted on
minors, despite their undeniable importance. In this sense, the aforementioned Working
document underlines that although freedom of movement of persons is a key element in
the functioning of the EU, the fact that there is no uniformity in the responses from EU
1 See the Working document on the protection of vulnerable adults, 24.11.2015 (available at:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+COMPARL+PE-
571.769+ 01+DOC+P DF+V0//EN&language= EN).
2 On the problems identified in the notarial p ractice in this area and the need to adopt uniform solutions to
facilitate their resolution see REVILLARD, M., “La convention de La Haye sur la pro tection
internationale des adultes et la pratique du mandat inaptitude”, in: Le droit interna tional privé: esprit et
ḿthodes. Ḿlanges en l’honneur de Paul Lagarde, Dalloz, Paris, 2005 , p. 727 et seq.
3 See on this aspect, in the Spanish case, the report commissioned by the European Parliament and drawn
up by LLADÓS VILA, J. / FREIXES, T., “The impact of the crisis on fundamental rights across Member
States of the EU. Country Report on Spain”, 2015, which can be found at:
http://www.europarl.eur opa.eu/thinktank/es/document.html?r eference= IPOL_STU(2015)510019.

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