Expert seminars

Expert Seminar - Online, 16 April 2021


RETHINKIN_ hereby invites you to attend the 4th Expert seminar that will take place on April 16, 2021. The theme of this Expert seminar is The Right to Identity and Access to Information on Genetic Origin and Parentage. In view of the uncertainty surrounding the measures related to COVID-19 this Expert seminar will take place online via Teams.

Kindly register your attendance at this Expert seminar at the latest by March 24, 2021 by using this link. The invitations to the Teams meeting will be sent to all registered participants after this date.

Online, 16 April 2021

Conveners: Prof. dr. I. Boone (KU Leuven) and prof. dr. M. Vonk (VU Amsterdam/Universiteit Antwerpen)

RETHINKIN_ Rethinking legal kinship and family studies in the Low Countries
A Scientific Research Network (WOG) 2015-2024 of the Research Foundation Flanders

Expert Seminar

The Right to Identity and Access to Information on Genetic Origin and Parentage


Online, 16 April 2021

Chair: I. Boone

09:30 Welcome and Introduction

09:45 The right to identity from an international human rights perspective

Dra. Soraya Bou-Sfia (U. Utrecht)

10:20 The right to access information about ones genetic origins in the context of medically assisted reproduction: comparative overview

Dra. Elodie Decorte (KU Leuven)

11.00 – 11.15 Coffee break

11:15 New legal paths to discover and establish genetic origins?

Prof. dr. Tim Wuyts (UHasselt and VUB)

11:50 The meaning of genes for and experiences of (intended) parents and sperm donor-conceived offspring

Dr. Astrid Indekeu (KU Leuven, Centre for Sociological Research)

12:30-13.15 Lunchbreak

Chair: M. Vonk

13:15 Counseling intended parents who consider using donor gametes

Dr. Julie Nekkebroeck, Psycholoog Centrum voor Medische Genetica, Centrum voor Reproductieve Geneeskunde, UZ Brussel

13:45 The practice of registering and providing information about gamete donors and the practice of counselling children born of donor gametes, gamete donors and intended parents in the Netherlands:

– The Stichting Donorgegevens Kunstmatige Bevruchting: tasks and practice.

Laura Bosch (boardmember SDKB)

– Recent evaluations of the Wet Donorgegevens Kunstmatige Bevruchting

Dr. Jo Dorscheidt (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)

15.00 – 15.15 Tea break

15:15 The search for genetic family and DNA-databanks

– Fiom (Dutch centre for adoption and parentage questions)

Dr. Janneke Maas, Senior Specialist Beleid Fiom

– Het Vlaams Afstammingscentrum en DNA-databank (Flemish parentage centre and DNA-databank)

Sanne Wijnants (Vlaams Centrum voor Adoptie en KU Leuven)

16:30 Discussion and Concluding Observations

Expert Seminar - Antwerp, 11 and 12 May 2017

Antwerp, 11 and 12 May 2017

Conveners: I. Boone (KU Leuven) & W.D. Kolkman (University of Groningen)

Third expert seminar on Legal Protection of the Elderly & on International Families

RETHINKIN chose “Parents and Children” as theme for its 2017 activities on drawing a Roadmap. It will study the exercise of parental responsibilities regarding the child’s person, residence and contact as well as property matters.

RETHINKIN. program

Thursday 11 May 2017

Parents & Children: the child’s person and residence

10.00     Registration & Coffee

10.30     Welcome and Introduction: What is Parenthood?

Prof. dr. Frederik Swennen (University Antwerp and RETHINKIN Chairman)


Session 1.  Parents & Children: General Issues

Chair: Prof. dr. M. Antokolskaia (VU Amsterdam)

10.45    Parental responsibilities in a European perspective

Prof. dr. Josep Ferrer Riba (U. Pompeu Fabra)

11.15     Children’s procedural rights (best interests, right to be heard, right to be involved in  proceedings or to initiate proceedings): a comparative overview

Prof. dr. Lieke Coenraad (VU Amsterdam)

11.45     Discussion

12.15     Lunch


Session 2. Exercise of parental responsibilities regarding the child’s person 

Chair: Prof. dr. G. Verschelden (Ghent University)

13.30     Exercise of parental responsibilities regarding the child’s person in Germany

Prof. dr. Anatol Dutta (University of Munich)

13.55     Exercise of parental responsibilities regarding to the child’s person in England and Wales

Prof. dr. Jens M. Scherpe (University of Cambridge)

14.20     The ECtHR and conflicts between parents

Prof. dr. Geoffrey Willems (Université Catholique de Louvain)

14.45     Discussion

15.00     Coffee break


Session 3. Residence and Contact 

Chair: Prof. dr. W.M. Schrama (University of Utrecht)

15.20     Residence and contact in Belgium

Prof. dr. Ingrid Boone (KU Leuven)

15.45     Residence and contact in Spain and Catalonia

Prof. dr. Monica Navarro Michel (University of Barcelona)

16.10     Joint physical custody and the subjective well-being of children and divorced parents

Prof. dr. Sofie Vanassche (KU Leuven)

16.35     Discussion

17.00     End

19.00     Dinner


Friday 12 May 2017


Parents & Children: property matters

Session 1. Children and inheritance law: intestate and compulsory shares

Chair: Prof. dr. W.D. Kolkman (University of Groningen)

10.00 Welcome and introduction by prof. dr. W.D. Kolkman (University of Groningen)

10.05 The (Proposed) Belgian Reform of Succession Law from a Child’s Perspective

Prof. dr. Charlotte Declerck (University Hasselt)

10.35 Family provision in civil law systems

Prof. dr. W.D. Kolkman (University of Groningen)


Session 2. Supervision: quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

11.05 Supervision of the administering of the child’s assets in the Netherlands

Mr. dr. J.H.M. ter Haar (University of Groningen)

11.35 Discussion

12.00 Concluding remarks

Prof. dr. Frederik Swennen (University Antwerp and RETHINKIN Chairman)

12.30 Lunch

Expert Seminar - Amsterdam, 12 September 2016 & Utrecht, 13 September 2016

Amsterdam, 12 September 2016

Utrecht, 13 September 2016

Conveners: Masha Antokolskaia (VU Amsterdam) & Wendy Schrama (UUtrecht)

Powerpoints of the presentations of 12 September 2016


Monday 12 September 2016

Legal protection of the elderly: from limitation of legal capacity to empowerment

  • 10.20 Welcome address by prof. dr. Masha Antokolskaia (VU Amsterdam, ACFL, the Netherlands)
  • 10.40 Key note: A comparative overview of elderly protection measures in Europe
    Adrian Ward (Scotland, Solicitor, TC Young Solicitors)

Session 1. Protecting the elderly by Adult Guardianship Measures
Chair Prof. Dr. Gerd Verschelden (University of Gent, Belgium)

  • 11.10 Protecting the elderly by Adult Guardianship Measures in Germany
    Dr. Maria Mammeri-Latzel (Guardianship judge Betreuungsgericht Berlin, Germany)
  • 11.30 Coffee break
  • 11.50 Protecting the elderly by Adult Guardianship Measures in Belgium
    Prof. dr. Frederik Swennen (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
  • 12.10 Protecting the elderly by Adult Guardianship Measures in the Netherlands
    Dr. Kees Blankman (VU Amsterdam, ACFL, the Netherlands)
  • 12.30 Comparative discussion
  • 13.00 Lunch

Session 2. Continuing powers of attorney
Chair Prof. dr. Leon Verstappen Notarial Institute RUG, the Netherlands

  • 14.00 Experiences with Continuing Powers of Attorney in the Netherlands
    Prof. dr. Wilbert Kolkman (Notarial Institute RUG, the Netherlands)
  • 14.20 Experiences with Continuing Powers of Attorney in Belgium and France
    Elisabeth Adriaanse (University of Leuven, Belgium)
  • 14.40 Experiences with Continuing Powers of Attorney in Scandinavia
    Dr. Torbjörn Odlöw (Department of Law, University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
  • 15.00 Comparative Discussion
  • 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)

  • 15.40 Participation of elderly persons in decision-making
    Prof. dr. Tineke Abma (VU MC, the Netherlands)
  • 16.00 The legal assessment of competency
    Dr. Esther Pans (VU Amsterdam, ACFL, the Netherlands)
  • 16.20 Discussion
    Followed by Reception and dinner

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Venue: University of Utrecht, Molengraaff Instituut voor Privaatrecht, Janskerkof 12, Utrecht.

International families

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

Chair Prof. dr. Masha Antokolskaia, ACFL, VU Amsterdam
10.30 Welcome and introduction by prof. dr. Frederik Swennen (University of Antwerp)
10.35 Discussion chaired by Dimitri Droshout (Ius Commune Casebook Project, KU Leuven and UM)
12.00 Lunch

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

Chair Prof. dr. Wendy Schrama, UCERF, UUtrecht
13.00 The EEF project explained
Prof. dr. Wendy Schrama (Utrecht University)
13.20 Reflections from a private international law perspective
Prof. dr. Mirela Župan (Strossmayer University of Osijek)
13.40 Discussion
14.10 Coffee Break
14.30 Reflections from a substantive law perspective
14.50 Discussion
15.20 A communication science perspective on awareness raising
15.40 Discussion

Session 3. Dissemination and Funding Opportunities

16.00 Launching of the open access forum
Wirt Soetenhorst (Boom Juridische Uitgevers)
16.30 Funding opportunities
Dr. Jude Murrison, Research manager FAMCARE University of Antwerp
17.00 Reception

Participation in external seminars, conferences etc

Webinar 18/09/2020: A shared interest in family legal pluralism: The potential of constructive alliances between religious and queer groups

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