13:00 – 13:30


13:30 – 13:45


  • Welcome : Prof. Michel Tison, Dean Faculty of Law & Criminology, Ghent University
  • Introduction : Prof. Jinske Verhellen, Ghent University

13:45 – 14:45

Keynote lecture

  • Keynote Speaker : Prof. James C. Hathaway, University of Michigan Law School (USA)
    "Can Refugee Law Really be Reconciled to the Private International Law of Personal Status?"

15:00 – 16:30

Session 1 : Persons in need of international protection
Chair : prof. Ellen Desmet
Rapporteur : Hans van Loon
  • Academics : Prof. Sabine Corneloup, Université Paris II and Prof. Fabienne Jault-Seseke, Université Versaille (France)
    "The appropriateness of Private International Law Methodologies"

  • Practice :
    • Samarie Wijekoon Lofvendahl, UNHCR
      "Refugees' right to retain their personal status and the right to identity documents"
    • Dr. Andrea Struwe, attorney, Germany                
      "Practical Challenges regarding the Proof of Identity in the Asylum Procedure"

  • Discussion

16:30 – 17:00

Coffee break

17:00 – 18:30

Session 2 : Refugee and migrant children
Chair : Prof. Thalia Kruger
Rapporteur : Dr. Susanne Gössl
  • Academic : Prof. Laura Carpaneto, University of Genoa (Italy)
    "Cross-border placement of migrant children"

  • Practice :
    • Nelly Chretiennot, Deputy Head of the Central Authority (Hague Child Protection Convention 1996), France
      "The assistance of the Central Authorities in cases related to the migration of children"
    • Martina Erb Klünemann, Family Court Judge, Germany, network judge (EJN and international Hague network of Judges)
      "Representation of unaccomanied minors - appointment of guardians and the problems in German practice"
    • Katja Fournier, Coordinator Platform Minors in Exile/Plate-forme Mineurs en Exil/Platform Kinderen op de Vlucht (Belgium)
      "Age assessment : a tool and a protection gap. A discussion on irreversible consequences, medical reliabilioty, procedural safeguards and perspectives for the future"

  • Discussion


08:00 – 09:00

09:00 – 10:00

 Welcome Coffee

Session 3 : Migrants and their families
Chair : Prof. Jinske Verhellen
Rapporteur: Prof. Patrick Wautelet
  • Academic : Prof. Maarit Jänterä-Jareborg, Uppsala University (Sweden)
    "Refugees’ Right to Family Life – A critical look on recent European developments"

  • Practice :
    • Steve Heylen, vice-president European Association of Civil Registrars
      "The registrar and foreign civil status documents: the entire world at a glance"
    • Dr. Sophie Nakueira, Max Planck Associate, Department Integration and Conflict
      "The Politics of Tracing Family in a Refugee Camp in South Western Uganda"

  • Discussion

10:00 – 11:00





11:00 - 11:30

Discussion, launched by the rapporteurs of the 3 thematic sessions

(conclusions, results, recommendations of the 3 sessions) :

  • Dr. Susanne Lilian Gössl, Universit´ät Bonn (Germany)
  • Hans van Loon, former Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (The Netherlands)
  • Prof. Patrick Wautelet, Université de Liège (Belgium)

Coffee Break


  11:30 – 12:30


Impact of Human Rights Law on Private International Law and Migration Law

Chair : Prof. Yves Haeck

  • Judge Turkovic, European Court of Human Rights
  • Prof. Silvia Pfeiff, Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)

  12:30 – 13:00

Conference Conclusions

  • Prof. Jean-Yves Carlier, Université Catholique Louvain

  13:00 –



Guided city tour

  • by prof. Georges Martyn, Ghent University