After the ratification of the 1996 Hague Convention by Turkey, its impact on the applicable law relating to custody responsibility as well as to guardianship responsibility began to be seen. This article mainly focuses on the applicable law relating to guardianship of children. Regarding a child’s guardianship, this subject has three dimensions due to conflicts of law. These are as follows: applicable law relating to the grounds of ordering guardianship, to the attribution and exercise of guardianship, and to the termination of guardianship. Before being party to the Convention, article 10 of the Turkish Code on PIL which concerns the applicable law on guardianship (except by considering the provisions of the 1961 Hague Convention) was applied. But the first date of February 2017, is a milestone for the conflict of law rules on guardianship of children for Turkish Private International Law. Although the 1996 Hague Convention regulates the attribution of custody (art.16) which intended to be applied to the guardianship relations also due to article 1/2 which makes wide definition of custody by covering guardianship responsibility; it cannot be applied to establish a guardianship relationship for a foreign child who is in Turkey. Because, according to Turkish law which differs sharply from the Convention, establishing a guardianship responsibility cannot be operated without the intervention of a judicial or administrative authority. In other words, some of the provisions of the Convention on custody can not be applied to the guardianship issues. These provisions will not applied to establish a guardianship responsibility for a child due to the characteristic of this legal relationship. So that, provisions of the Convention on this matter will not be considered and have no effect on the applicable law. If a child who is stateless orhaving foreign nationality is in danger and needs urgent care of a guardian then article 10 of Turkish PIL which refers to the national law of the child will first be applied due to articles 11 and 15 of the Convention.
However for the exercise of guardianship, applicable law will be determined by considering the article 17 of the Hague Convention. Beginning from the first date of February 2017, article 17 of the Hague Convention had direct effect and overrode article 10 of Turkish PIL especially regarding the applicable law on the exercise of guardianship responsibility. Thus, for the exercise of guardianship of a foreign child, the law of the state of the child’s habitual residence will be applied from now on.
For the termination of a guardianship responsibility, the applicable law will be determined by making two distinctions. One possibility is that the termination of guardianship responsibility could occur by operation of law, without the intervention of a judicial or administrative authority. In such a case, the law of the state of the habitual residence of the child will determine the reasons for the termination of a guardianship. Whereas the second possibility is the termination of guardianship responsibility which occurs by the intervention of a judicial or administrative authority. In such a situation, according to article 15 of the Convention, the law of the contracting state at the time where the child is will be applied.
In this study we also make suggestions and recommendations for the amendment of article 10 of Turkish PIL. This is because the guardianship of a child and the guardianship of an adult differ from each other. Thus, special provision for the guardianship of a child needs to be regulated by the law. Some children need much more care due to their situation. We suggest special provision for Turkish PIL such as: “As a provisional measure, for the children who are stateless or homeless but having foreign nationality or for the children who need urgent care due to being under an intolerable condition, Turkish law shall be applied.”
Moreover, we also suggest a minor amendment on article 10/2 of Turkish PIL, namely: “Where it is not possible to order guardianship or curatorship pursuant to the national law of the foreigner, guardianship or curatorship may be ordered or terminated pursuant to Turkish law provided that the habitual residence or the place of existence of this person is in Turkey.”
19 Ekim 1996 tarihli Lahey Sözleşmesi, iç hukukun bir parçası haline gelmekle; soy bağının hüküm ve sonuçlarından olan velayet sorumluluğuna ilişkin kanunlar ihtilafı kuralları üzerinde önemli değişiklikler getirmektedir. Sözleşme hükümleri, gerek çocuğun velayetine ilişkin tedbirler yönünden MÖHUK’un 14/4 hükmüne gerek velayete uygulanacak hukuku düzenleyen MÖHUK’un 17. maddesine göre öncelikli uygulanacak olmakla birlikte, aynı zamanda çocuğun vesayetine ilişkin hükümlerde de esaslı değişiklik ve etkiler doğurmuştur. Çalışmamızda, öncelikle vesayetin tanımı yapılıp, diğer kavramlardan farkı açıklandıktan sonra çocuğun vesayetini ilgilendiren kanunlar ihtilafı meseleleri detaylı olarak incelenecektir. Çocuğun vesayetine ilişkin hükümler taşıyan ve de yabancılık unsuru taşıyan vesayet ilişkilerine uygulanacak hukuku düzenleyen çok taraflı milletlerarası sözleşmeler kısaca listelenip, açıklandıktan sonra 1996 tarihli Lahey Sözleşmesi’nin MÖHUK hükümleri üzerindeki olası etkisi detaylı olarak incelenecektir. Çocuğun vesayetine uygulanacak hukukun dört yönü bulunmaktadır. Bunlardan biri, çocuğun vesayetine ilişkin koruyucu tedbirlere uygulanacak hukuk, çocuğun vesayet altına alınmasını gerektiren sebeplere uygulanacak hukuk, vesayetin tevdi taleplerine ve vesayetin devamı taleplerine uygulanacak hukuk ve son olarak çocuğun vesayetinin sona ermesi taleplerine uygulanacak hukuktur.