On April 30th 2018, the Center for Private International Law of the Hague Conventions at the Law Faculty, University of Niš, was honoured to host the distinguished guest, Prof. Marta Pertegás, the former First Secretary of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (2011-2017); Professor of Private International Law and Transnational Law at the Law Faculty, University of Maastricht, as well as the Law Faculty, University of Antwerp. In the course of her lecture From Niš to the World: Conventions as Connections, Professor Pertegás discussed the practical application of five Hague Conventions in force in the Republic of Serbia (the 1965 Service Abroad Convention; the 1970 Taking of Evidence Convention; the 1993 Adoption Convention; the 1996 Children Protection Convention and the 2007 Maintenance Protocol).
Besides the students of the Law Faculty in Niš, the Center was pleased to host the practising judges of the Basic Court and the Higher Court in Niš, as well as the lawyers from the Social Care Center in Niš. Likewise, the Center for Private International Law of the Hague Conventions was honored to welcome two representatives of the Serbian Central Authority (CA) for the 1993 Hague Adoption Convention and the 1996 Hague Children Protection Convention: Mr. Vukota Vlahović, Head of the Department for Administrative and Supervisory Affairs in the area of family protection, and Mr. Stevan Popović, an official of the Serbian Ministry of Labor, Employment, Social and Veteran Affairs.
In her welcome address, Associate Professor Maja Nastić, the Vice Dean of Studies and Scientific Research at the Law Faculty in Niš, highlighted the most important professional accomplishments of Professor Marta Pertegás.
After the Vice-Dean’s welcome address, Professor Pertegás and the participants were greeted by Assistant Professor Sanja Marjanović, acting on behalf of Professor Mirko Živković, Head of the Center for Private International Law of the Hague Conventions and on her own behalf. She provided a brief account on Professor Živković's initiative to establish the Center for Private International Law of the Hague Conventions at the Law Faculty in Nis and the Center activities in the past period.
In the course of presenting the first topic, the 1965 Service Abroad Convention and the 1970 Taking of Evidence Convention, Professor Pertegás tackled some of the most controversial issues regarding the "non-mandatory" or "non-exclusive" effects of these procedural Hague Conventions, which triggerred a lively discussion with the students, judges and the Serbian CA representatives.
The next topic included three Hague Conventions on family law issues: the 1993 Adoption Convention, the 1996 Children Protection Convention, and the 2007 Maintenance Protocol. During the highly dynamic discussion on this matter with the participants, Professor Pertegás provided an extensive analysis of various problems, such as: the child's habitual residence; the habitual residence of migrant temporary workers; the special protection of the uncompanied migrant children and the international adoption of this extremely vulnerable category of children. Considering the great interest in the subject matter, the discussion lasted for almost two hours. Professor Pertegás and the Serbian Central Authority representatives highly commended the students’ enthusiasm, active participation and attention to detail in addressing these issues.