Elise or life in bulk

Elise or life in bulk

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The little Elise, kidnapped last March 20 by her mother in the south of France, was found this weekend in Hungary. Jean-Pierre Rosenczveig *, president of the children's court of Bobigny gives us his opinion on this judicial imbroglio between Russia and France and the future reserved for the little girl. (News of 15/04/09)

Following the Elise case, and as part of the draft law on parental authority and the rights of third parties, Nadine Morano, Secretary of State for the Family announced that the signature of both parents would be mandatory to get an exit territory or a passport for a child. What do you think ?

  • It's already the case. At present, a parent alone can not have a passport, unless it is shown that both parents have the joint exercise of parental authority and that they are in harmony. As soon as there is a problem, the policies respond by law, but generally, this law has already planned things! In addition, I'm not sure it's essential to prevent kidnappings. With this type of act, we are in the field of corrections.

What inspires the outcome of this affair?

  • The media made a lot of noise around this case. Kidnappings of children between Franco-French or binational parents, there are unfortunately many. This is a classic divorce case, exacerbated by the fact that it involves people from different cultures.
  • It is worth remembering that we are in a democracy and that we must find an intelligent answer between the two legal orders. Borders that can go down for the better can be worse. However, Elise's father seems to have an intelligent attitude, since he proposed yesterday (Tuesday) a mediation to the mother in order to peacefully resolve the conflict. He seems to wish that his child can continue to see his mother. Strategy or common sense? Hard to say, but it's an opening.

What solutions are possible to pacify this affair?

  • The international order that has already experienced this type of case has made emerge a superior rule: it is always necessary to return to the last place of life of the child. In this case, Elise's last place of life is France. This does not mean that the father must continue to exercise parental authority as his principal, but that is where Elise must live. If it must change, it is only by court order. As a first step, a family judge should take charge of the case, be recognized as legitimate by everyone and decide where the child's center of gravity will be today. It is necessary that the child can navigate between his two parents, according to the periods and his needs.

* Jean-Pierre Rosenczveig is the author of the book "Why I became judge for children", Ed. Bayard.

Interviewed by Stéphanie Letellier