RETHINKIN – Rethinking legal kinship and family studies in the Low Countries

A Scientific Research Network (WOG) 2015-2019

2nd International Symposium Legal Protection of the Elderly
Amsterdam 12 September and Utrecht 13 september 2016

Convener: Masha Antokolskaia (VU Amsterdam) and Wendy Schrama (Utrecht University)

The researchers of the Scientific Research Network RETHINKIN invite you to participate in their second expert seminar, on Legal Protection of the Elderly.

RETHINKIN conducts research activities that revolve around the scientific redefinition of family law in the Low Countries and aims to take up an international leading role in this area. Redefining family law is necessary in the light of the societal evolutions that have undermined the foundations of traditional family law. RETHINKIN aspires to be the flagship in legal research in the Low Countries by providing new foundations for family law in a constant interplay with other scientific disciplines (intra- and interdisciplinary research) as well as with civil society (transdisciplinary research). Three research questions underlie the activities of RETHINKIN:

  1. What should the competences of the state in the regulation of family relations be and what are the most adequate procedural and/or substantive regulatory instruments? What position in the state normative framework should the family be granted as the traditional distinction between the domains of the private and the public is being revised?
  2. What should the contents of State policy measures be, from the perspectives of citizenship, police power and the parens patriae-doctrine?
  3. Under what respects could/should law and policies be better attuned to social practices and public perception?

RETHINKIN currently joins the entire Flemish academic research into family law with the Dutch Alliantie Familie & Recht (Alliance Family and Law – ACFL, NIG and UCERF) as “Low Countries”.

RETHINKIN will first draw a Roadmap for Kinship & Family Studies in the Low Countries as a stepping stone to the development of its further scientific activities under the EU Framework Programmes for Scientific Research and Innovation. A continuous dialogue with an international multi- and trans-disciplinary panel will allow expanding the current research landscape so as to cultivate new areas in alliance with other disciplines.

RETHINKIN chose the redefinition of the law on vulnerable adults and on international families as theme for its 2016 activities on drawing a Roadmap. It will study the both subjects from both legal and communication perspectives.


Monday 12 September 2016

Venue: VU University Amsterdam, Agorazaal 2

10.00 – 10.30: Coffee.

10.30 – 10.40: Welcome address by prof. dr. Masha Antokolskaia (VU Amsterdam, ACFL, the Netherlands)

10.40 – 11.10: Adrian Ward (Scotland, Solicitor, TC Young Solicitors), key note speech: A comparative  overview of elderly protection measures in Europe


Session 1: Protecting the elderly by Adult Guardianship Measures

Chair: Prof. Dr. Gerd Verschelden (University of Gent, Belgium)

11.10 – 11.30: Dr. Maria Mammeri-Latzel (Guardianship judge Betreuungsgericht Berlin, Germany) Protecting the elderly by Adult Guardianship Measures in Germany

11.30 – 11.50: Coffee break

11.50 – 12.10: Prof. dr. Frederik Swennen (University of Antwerp, Belgium): Protecting the elderly by Adult Guardianship Measures in Belgium

12.10 – 12.30: Dr. Kees Blankman (VU Amsterdam, ACFL, the Netherlands) Protecting the elderly by Adult Guardianship Measures in the Netherlands

12.30 – 13.00: Discussion


13.00 – 14.00: Lunch


Session 2: Continuing powers of attorney

Chair: Prof. dr. Leon Verstappen (Notarial Institute RUG, the Netherlands)

14.00 – 14.20: Prof. dr. Wilbert Kolkman (Notarial Institute RUG, the Netherlands) Experiences with Continuing Powers of Attorney in the Netherlands

14.20 – 14.40: Dr. Torbjörn Odlöw (Department of Law, University of Gothenburg, Sweden) Experiences with Continuing Powers of Attorney in Scandinavia

14:40 – 15.oo: Discussion


15.00 – 15.20: Coffee break


Session 3: Protecting the elderly by focusing on autonomy and actual capacity

Chair: Dr. Kees Blankman (VU Amsterdam, ACFL, the Netherlands)

15.20 – 15.40: Prof. dr. Tineke Abma (VU MC, the Netherlands): Participation of elderly persons in decision-making

15.40 – 16.00: Dr. Esther Pans (VU Amsterdam, ACFL, the Netherlands): The legal assessment of competency

16.00 – 16.45: Discussion


16:45 – 18.00: Reception


Tuesday 13 September 2016

Venue: Molengraaff Institute for Private Law, Janskerkhof 12, Utrecht



 Session 1. Towards a Ius Commune Casebook on International Family Law?

Chair: Prof. dr. Masha Antokolskaia, ACFL, VU Amsterdam

10.00 – 10.20: Discussion on best practices in dealing with case law and other materials on international family law  –  Prof. Masha Antokolskaia (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

10.20 – 10.40: Experiences with Ius Commune Case Law Books – Dimitri Droshout (University Maastricht and KULeuven)

10.40 – 12.00: Round table discussion Ius Commune Family Law Book


12.00 – 12.20: Break


Session 2. The Empowering European Families project of the ELI and the EC

Chair: Prof. dr. Wendy Schrama, UCERF, UUtrecht

12.20 – 12.40: The EEF project explained – prof. dr. Wendy Schrama (Utrecht University)


12.40 – 13.20: Lunch


13.20 – 13.40: Reflections from a private international law perspective  – prof. dr. Mirela Župan, (J. J. Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia)

13.40 – 14.00: Discussion

14.00 – 14.20: Reflections from a substantive law perspective  –  prof. dr. Maria Rosaria Marella (University of Perugia)

14.20 – 14.40: Discussion


14.40 – 15.00: Break


Session 3.

Dissemination and Funding Opportunities

Chair: Prof. dr. Frederik Swennen, Personal Rights & Property Rights, UAntwerp

15.00 – 15.40 Launching of the open access forum –   Wirt Soetenhorst (Boom Juridische Uitgevers)

15.40 – 16.00 EU funding of international research projects –   Dr. Jude Murrison (research manager FAMCARE University of Antwerp)

16.00 – 16.30 Questions, opportunities and discussion


16.30 – 16.45   Concluding Remarks

Registration Form 13 September

(Clicking this link will download a Word-Document to fill in and to send via e-mail to the Utrecht University)

End of the 2nd International expert meeting