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Monaco[1] [print]

Last edited: February, 2006

 

Summary and Analysis

Monaco acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in June of 1993 effectively giving the Convention the force of law domestically.[2]  The legislation in Monaco governing child protection includes Title IX of the Civil Code, Title XII of the Code of Civil Procedure, Law No. 894 on the Guardianship Judge, and Law No. 892 on Adoptive Filiation, Minors, Parental Authority, Guardianship and Emancipation, and on Majority and Incapacitated Adults.  Child protection proceedings take place in Guardianship Court presided over by a specially appointed guardianship judge.  It should be noted that Monaco defines a minor as any person under the age of twenty-one, so all child protection legislation applies to children and young adults aged twenty and younger.[3]

Monaco's domestic child protective legislation does not appear to be in compliance with Article 12 of the CRC, which provides children with the right to voice their opinions in any matters affecting them.  In Monaco's child protective proceedings, the Code of Civil Procedure provides that the guardianship judge may hear the child directly, but the judge is not required to do so.  It should be mentioned that Article 306 of the Civil Code states:

The legal administrator represents the minor in all civil acts, except cases in which the law or, for the needs of everyday life, the use authorizes the minors to act themselves. When his interests are in opposition with those of the minor, he must be appointed an ad hoc administrator by the guardian judge.[4]

However, it is likely that “civil acts” does not include child protective proceedings.  Legislation related to child welfare only mentions the appointment of counsel to parties to the case,[5] and legislation does not explicitly state that the minor is a party to the case.  In any case, the Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern about the ability of minors to express opinions, recommending that “the State party adopt legislation and practices providing for greater flexibility in the consideration of a child's opinion, in accordance with its evolving capacities, with a view to providing greater opportunities for children to be heard.”[6]

           Despite our best efforts, we were unable to locate a local contact to confirm the accuracy of our research.

 

Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)

Original text

Code of Civil Procedure

Code de Procedure Civil[7]

Art. 834. — Avant de statuer au fond, le juge convoque par letter recommandée avec demande d'avis de reception, huit jours au moins avant l'audience, les père et mere, et, éventuellement, le gardien et le mineur lui-même.

Il avise, dans les memes conditions, les conseils choisis par les parties ou ceux que, sur leur demande, il leur aura désignés d'office.

Art. 835. — Après avoir entendu les père et mere ou le gardien, le ministère public, les conseils et, éventuellement, le mineur, ainsi que toute personne dont l'audition lui est apparue utile, et recherché l'adhésion des père et mere à une mesure de protection, le juge tutélaire statue conformément aux dispositions de l'article 319 du Code civil.

International Law

Convention relative aux droits de l'enfant[8]

Article 12

1. Les Etats parties garantissent à l'enfant qui est capable de discernement le droit d'exprimer librement son opinion sur toute question l'intéressant, les opinions de l'enfant étant dûment prises en considération eu égard à son âge et à son degré de maturité.

2. A cette fin, on donnera notamment à l'enfant la possibilité d'être entendu dans toute procédure judiciaire ou administrative l'intéressant, soit directement, soit par l'intermédiaire d'un représentant ou d'une organisation approprié, de façon compatible avec les règles de procédure de la législation nationale.

 

Translation[9]

Code of Civil Procedure

Code of Civil Procedure[10]

Art. 834. — Before pronouncing judgments on the merits, the judge summons by registered letter with a request for notice of receipt, at least eight days before the hearing, the father and mother, and, possibly, the guardian and the minor himself.

He notifies, under the same conditions, the counsels chosen by the parties or those which, on their request, he will have appointed to them by the court.

Art. 835. — After having heard the father and mother or the guardians, the public prosecutor, the counsels and, possibly, the minor, as well as any person whom hearing is apparently useful to him, and having sought the adhesion of the father and mother to a protection measure, the guardian judge rules in accordance with the provisions of article 319 of the Civil code.

International Law

Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified June 21, 1993[11]

Article 12

1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.

 


 

Endnotes

[1] This page is also available as a .pdf Document, and Word Document.

[2] Commision on Human Rights, Core document forming part of the reports of States Parties: Monaco,

¶ 82, 83, U.N. Doc. HRI/CORE/1/Add.118 (Apr. 15, 2002) available at http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/9e1452c1fcde7432c1256bfe0048a63d?Opendocument.

[3] Committee on the Rights of the Child, Initial reports of States parties due in 1995, Addendum: Monaco, ¶ 14, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/28/Add.15 (July 4, 2000) available at http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/0b682c870cc6606cc125699f00564460?Opendocument.

[4] Civ. Code, art. 306 (2002).

[5] Code Civ. Proc., art. 834 (2002).

[6] Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child : Monaco, ¶ 23, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.158 (June 8, 2001) available at http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/29bc23ab7979df2fc1256a76004b206e?Opendocument.

[7] Code Proc. Civ., art. 834, 835 (2002) available here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document.

[8] G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989) available at http://www.ohchr.org/french/law/crc.htm.

[9] Other than the English version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is the official United Nations version, the translations below are unofficial, completed by a translator provided by the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization.

[10] Code Civ. Proc., art. 834, 835 (2002).

[11] G.A. Res. 44/125, U.N. GAOR, 44th Session, Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/44/736 (1989) available at http://www.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm.

 

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