How Does Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Deal With Multiple Languages?

One of the stumbling blocks of international child custody cases is the fact that there may be multiple languages being used in official documents such as Custody Orders, Final Judgments of Parenting Plans and Statements of Decision. The Hague Convention has a plan for how conflicts between countries can be resolved, and part of that plan is a set up for official language options.

Official documents need to be translated into the official language of the requested country, and if that is not possible there are two options, French or English, which may be used as a default translation language.

Article 24

Any application, communication or other document sent to the Central Authority of the requested State shall be in the original language, and shall be accompanied by a translation into the official language or one of the official languages of the requested State or, where that is not feasible, a translation into French or English. However, a Contracting State may, by making a reservation in accordance with Article 42, object to the use of either French or English, but not  both, in any application, communication or other document sent to its Central Authority.

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