1.) According to a presentation made by Karin Jaeckel, Dr.
Phil., at the International Child Abduction Conference in Washington DC, June 7-9, 2001,
things are not quite as clear-cut.
It is not without cause that Youth Welfare Offices
in Germany are discredited as "kidnapping-offices" or
"mother-offices". And not without cause did the French President Jacques Chirac
call German family law "the law of the jungle"....
Ladies and gentlemen, you surely know that [par.]
13b rules the term treasured above all by German judges, namely the "welfare of
Exactly, it prohibits the return of children to
where they had been kidnapped from, if the "welfare of a child" could be in
the orders of the Hague Convention, most of the judges of family law start the court
hearing, to negotiate the welfare and custody of the child. And as usual, they need an
expert opinion. And with that, time goes by.
2.) Again, the facts that Karin Jaeckel presented in relation to the
special training that judges receive differ considerably. It is not that there is an
abundance of such specially trained judges. The process intended to employ such
judges is merely in the proposal stage.
...feminist lawyers often advise their clients with
binational children to sue for divorce according to German law, if possible....
Margot von Renesse, SPD-member of the Bundestag and
well known as the mother of the new law for child and parent in Germany, declared the aim
of the law-giver and the legal practice. It is the wish now that the judges must overcome
the German provinciality. Therefore those sentiments need to be extended to create a court
of law with international competence.
The court is to consist of three experts who decide
in all binational cases. They are to be comprised of a family court judge plus two lay
judges. They all must be German and are to be elected every four years.
It appears that Kerstin Niethammer-Jürgens is being motivated not by concerns for
parents who lost their children but much more likely by profit motives that cause her to
pormote the niche in the family law industry that she created for herself. If the
striking parents are so far wrong, and if solutions are that easily to be found in the
German courts, why did she not simply identify her treasured specially trained judges and
where they can be found? Would that not instantly put an end to the hunger strike?
3.) If Kerstin Niethammer-Jürgens truly doesn't know who is behind
the hungerstrike, that shows that she deliberately closed her eyes and failed to inform
herself. The parents are right there, in Berlin. She can speak to them during
her lunch break, although we should hope that her apparent callousness doesn't extent to
having her lunch in front of the hunger-strikers.
Moreover, there is no formal organization sponsoring the hunger-strike
action. The strikers are people like any of us. They merely happened to get in
touch with one another, united only by their common experiences in the German family
courts, and reached the agreement that no other legal avenues remain open for them but to
risk their lives in this hunger strike.
It is regrettable that the Berliner Morgenpost did not put more of an effort into
reporting on the issue and instead resorted to unbalanced advocacy reporting. After
all, the facts are just as easily visible to the Berliner Morgenpost.