About the AMICABLE Project

Who is involved in AMICABLE?

AMICABLE Consortium

The AMICABLE Project is an EU co-funded project conceived by MiKK, International Mediation Centre for Family Conflict and Child Abduction. The Project is carried out by a Consortium of Partners with great expertise in this field from four different EU States: University of Milano-Biccocca (Italy), University of Wroclaw (Poland), University of Alicante (Spain) and MiKK (Germany).

AMICABLE Partners & Steering Committee

The AMICABLE project is supported by three Central Authorities, the Hague Liaison Judges of the four countries involved, the Hague Conference for Private International Law (HCCH), Members of the Spanish judiciary, GEMME, Prof Paul Beaumont and the EU Parliament Office of Childrens Rights.

Project PartnersSteering Committee

Project Coordinator - Germany (MiKK)

Ischtar Khalaf-Newsome
AMICABLE Project Manager (Germany)

Head of Advisory Services & Co-CEO, MiKK

Ischtar Khalaf-Newsome is Head of Advisory Services & Co-CEO at MiKK e.V. She is a family lawyer, cross-border family mediator and mediation trainer. Ischtar has been involved in a number of EU co-financed projects on behalf of MiKK, such as LEPCA II (Lawyers in Europe on Parental Child Abduction) and the VOICE, conceiving a child-inclusive mediation training for cross-border family disputes. Before joining MiKK in 2014 she practiced family law for nine years witha focus on cross-border family disputes, including child abduction cases, at Dawson Cornwell, a leading London law firm specialized in international family law. Prior to this Ischtar was a case manager at the child abduction NGO Reunite International in London. Ischtar completed her legal studies at BPP University Law School, holds a Master’s Degree (MA) in Near & Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic Law from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London and an MA and teaching qualification in German and English, Berlin Freie Universität (FU). Ischtar qualified as a mediator with the Family Mediators Association (FMA) in London where she also trained in Child Inclusive Mediation (CIM). She is a practicing cross-border family mediator and has provided diverse training in this field, both for MiKK as well as for other organizations, e.g. the European Academy of Law (ERA). She has published on family law and mediation in e.g. The Family Law Journal, Spektrum der Mediation and Die (Wirtschafts) Mediation.

Magdalena Jańczuk
AMICABLE MiKK Project Coordinator (Germany)

Mediator and Co-CEO, MiKK

Magdalena Jańczuk is cross-border mediator and Co-CEO at MiKK e.V.. She completed herMaster’s degree at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Warsaw University ofTechnology in Poland. Since 2014 she has been working at MiKK e.V. - International MediationCentre for Family Conflicts and Child Abduction where she consultant in parental kidnapping and other cross-border family conflicts involving children. She advises parents on family mediation in her mother tongue Polish as well as in German and English. On behalf of MiKK,Magdalena has been involved in EU co-financed projects: LEPCA II (Lawyers in Europe onParental Child Abduction), AMICABLE and iCare.

Patrick Fuhrmann
AMICABLE Financial Assistent (Germany)

Office Administrator, MiKK

Patrick Fuhrmann – Project Manager, Psychologist, active as office manager at MiKK. Degree in Media-Management at HdpK Berlin, Universidad de Valparaiso and Psychology at SRH Berlin, IPU International Psychoanalytic University and University of Hagen. Artist Manager at the Berlin-based label Aimend and Consultant & Translator German-Spanish. Certified organizational- and team developer, as well as Human Resource Development with Metalog-Tools. Member of the European Health Psychology Society since 2017.

Catharina Laverty
AMICABLE Project Assistant (Germany)

Advisory Officer & Fundraising, MiKK

Born and bred in Berlin, Catharina moved to Belfast after finishing school to work as a volunteer in a cross-community reconciliation project and in a number of youth outreach groups. Ever since she has been hooked on the idea of furthering communication between people. Catharina initially worked as a translator and interpreter for English, German and Spanish for a few years. She then trained and worked as a Mediator, Supervisor and Coach to be more directly involved with people and their communicational needs. Catharina is trained as across-border mediator with MiKK and has undertaken cross-border mediations in both English and German. In 2018, she joined MiKK where she is working amongst others as an advisor and trainer.


MiKK External Experts

Juliane Hirsch
MiKK External Expert
Leading Legal Expert

Consultant on Private International Law, Family Mediator and Trainer

Juliane Hirsch - consultant on private international law, family mediator and trainer. Having studied law in Germany and Ireland she specialises in private international law and international family law. She followed a family mediator training in France, where she obtained the French State Diploma for Family Mediation. She had been working for the Hague Conference on Private International Law in the Netherlands for many years as Senior Legal Officer; her fields of work comprised, inter alia, international child abduction, child protection, international family mediation and cross-border recovery of maintenance. Among the larger publications for which she has undertaken principal work during her time at the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference was the “Guide to Good Practice on Mediation” (2012). She is currently involved as external consultant in the work of the Hague Conference’s Experts’ Group on the Recognition and Enforcement of Agreements in Family Matters.

Sabine Brieger
MiKK External Expert
National Legal Expert

Judge and Family Judge

Judge and Family Judge in different courts in Berlin since 1982, since 2001 Family Judge in the Court of Pankow/Weißensee in Berlin. Since 2004 specialized Judge in international abduction cases (Hague Convention of 1980). Retired since October 2018. Network Judge in the European Judicial Network since 2006 and since June 2011 one of two German Network Judges in the International Hague Network of Judges. Mediator in Family affairs, since 2006. Workshops and lectures at national and international conferences, especially on binational direct judicial communication and the application of the Hague Convention of 1980 and the Brussells IIa Regulation, but also family law in general. Member of the Hague Expert’ s group  „on cross-border recognition and enforcementin family matters“.

Project Partner - Poland

Dr. hab. Magdalena Tabernacka, prof. nadzw. UWr
AMICABLE Project Manager (Poland)

Head of the Research Center for Mediation and other alternative methods of resolving disputes in the public sphere, University Wroclaw

Prof. Associate. University of Wroclaw. dr hab. Magdalena Tabernacka - works at the Institute of Administrative Sciences of the Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics at the University of Wrocław. She conducts scientific research in the field of relations between public authorities and the recipients of their activities. She specializes in the subject of mediation and negotiations in the public sphere.In addition, he conducts research in the field of legal and social conditions of spatial planning and development. She is a social advisor at the Social Council at the Field Plenipotentiary of the Ombudsman in Wrocław.

Dr. hab. Agnieszka Frąckowiak-Adamska
AMICABLE National Legal Expert (Poland)

Associate professor, University of Wroclaw

Agnieszka Frąckowiak-Adamska is an assistant professor in the Chair ofInternational and European Law. Her main research interests are Europeanjudicial area (civil & criminal), EU citizenship and fundamental rights,internal market and the role of national judges in the application of EUlaw. 
 Author of publications in leading Polishand European legal journals. Member of EU Commission’s Expert Group on therevision of the Brussels IIa Regulation. Expert in the Asser Institute’s studyfor the European Parliament on a European Framework for Private International Law.Postdoctoral scholar at the Robert Schuman University, EUI and UniversityParis-Dauphine.
Leaderof Polish scientific teams in JUSTICE PROGRAMME projects:
IC2BE -Informed Choices in Cross-Border Enforcement

TRANSFER OF PRISONERS -Improving the transfer of persons pursuant to mutualrecognition of judicial decisions in criminal matters and the citizens'fundamental rights protection

EUPILLAR - Cross-Border Litigation in Europe: PrivateInternational Law Legislative Framework, National Courts and the Court ofJustice of the European Union

Agnieszka Sobieska
AMICABLE Project Assistant (Poland)

Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics, University of Wroclaw

Agnieszka Sobieska is an expert at The Centre of Oriental Law Research of the Universityof Wrocław dealing with the issue of women's rights in Islam and their legal status in the countries of the Middle East and Western Europe. The main subject of her research, as well as personal interests, is still a little-known subject of legal regulations regarding Muslim attire (with particular emphasis on Iran and European countries), including regulations regarding the presence of religious attire in schools and on the labour market and the case-law of theEuropean Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg regarding the expression of religion through clothing. She has also dealt with hate speech and hostile speech. She is the author of numerous scientific articles on this subject.


Project Partner - Italy

Costanza Honorati
AMICABLE Project Manager (Italy)

Full Professor in European Union Law and in Private International Law, StateUniversity of Milano-Bicocca, Milan

Costanza is a Full Professor of European Union Law at the Milano-Bicocca University, School of Law, where she also holds the chair in Private International Law and, in the past, of Legal Procedure of the EU Court of Justice; formerly a Professor for International Law at the University of Sassari (1999-2004). She was the Head of the PhD Program in Law in the Milano-Bicocca University (2007-2012); She is a lawyer, admitted to the Milan bar. She has a strong expertise in the field of Private International Law, in the last years focusing especially on International Family Law. She was appointed a member of the Expert Group assisting the EU Commission on the Recast of Brussels IIa Regulation (2015); she further participated as a member of the Italian Delegation to the EU Council’s Working Group for the Regulation’s final draft (2017-2019).She is now the Chair of the Working Group on a Guide on Maintenance Obligations. A member of several scientific law journals and academic associations, she has published extensively in several fields of PIL and lectures regularly in national and international venues. She has managed national and EU funded projects. Among the latter in PIL in family matters: Brussels IIa Regulation: from South to East (JUST-JTRA- EJTR- AG-2014); C.L.A.S.S.4EU (JUST-JTRA-EJTR-AG-2016); POAM (REC-RDAP-GBV-AG-2017); AMICABLE (JUST-JCOO-AG-2018). She speaks fluently Italian, English, French and German.

Federico Ferraris
AMICABLE National Legal Expert (Italy)

Assistant Professor of Civil procedure, State University ofMilano-Bicocca, Milan

Lawyer, mediator and qualified mediators’ trainer, Federico Ferraris received his Ph.D. in Civil procedure at Unversità degli Studi di Milano in 2010. He spent several periods abroad, as a visiting scholar, among others at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia (2009) and at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (2017), where he gave a course devoted to the cross border and cross cultural dispute resolution. Federico has published several legal papers on mediation and A.D.R., including a book on the Italian civil and commercial mediation system as provided by law. Since 2016 Federico is an Assistant Professor of Civil procedure at Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, where he teaches Civil and commercial mediation and Alternative dispute resolution. In 2018 he has been awarded the National Scientific Qualification as an associate professor (A.S.N.) in the field of Civil procedure.

Patrizia Scapinelli
AMICABLE Project Assistant (italy)

Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics, State University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan


Project Partner - Spain

Soledad Ruiz de la Cuesta Fernández
AMICABLE Project Manager (spain)

Professor of Procedural Law in the Commercial and Procedural Law Department, UA (Spain).

SOLEDAD RUIZ DE LA CUESTA FERNÁNDEZ is a Lawyer, Mediator and Professor of Procedural Law (Department of Procedural Law and Commercial Law). Doctor in Law, she has also an Advanced Degree inMediation (2013, King Juan Carlos University, Madrid) and Doctor of Law (2006,University of Alicacnte).In addition to research carried out in other areas (precautionary measures and trial; illegal evidence, biological paternity forensics, criminal payment proceedings ...), with specific regard to mediation:Within the framework of a line of research onRestorative Justice, she was a visiting researcher in the Faculty of Law,Cambridge University, Cambridge (United Kingdom) during the months of July andAugust 2011, She has given several presentations and conferences on mediation in national and international forums and she has organized and directed many conferences and courses about Mediation (Conference on Disseminating Mediation (Torrevieja, Alicante, October-November 2017);Disseminating Mediation (Benissa, Alicante, January-March 2018) Basic Course onMediation (to be held in Villena, Alicante, in September-October 2018..-).She has also participated as a trainer for mediators within the framework of the Master's Degree in Civil, Commercial andCriminal Mediation organized by the UA and ICALI, 2014 edition, covering such topics as "Marriage Proceedings and Breakdown in Non-Marital Relationships" and "Mediation in the Case of Child Abduction"She is currently the Director of the MediationResearch Group at the University of Alicante ADR-iUstitiA

Mónica Herranz Ballesteros
AMICABLE National Legal Expert (Spain)

Professor of Private International Law in the UNED (Madrid, Spain)

MónicaHerranz Ballesterostenured professor from 2007 of Private International Law, at the Department ofBusiness Law, (Faculty of Law), National Distance University (UNED). PHD in Lawin 2002 at the same University.  Among her researchinterests: international family law, international protection of children,procedural international law and European Union law, She has been: AcademicVisitor in Oxford University; Academic Visitor in Institut of European andComparative Law (Oxford Law Faculty); Visiting Fellow in the Institut ofEuropean Law (Florence). Visiting Schoolar in: Columbia University, OttawaUniversity. Visiting Researcher in Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé (Laussane);Visiting Researcher in The Hague Conference of Private International Law (TheHague). Mónica has beendesignated: Country Expert in the Report of the European Project “The voice ofthe children in the international child abduction proceedings in Europe”, 2018,and National Expert in the Report of“Cross-border placement of children in the EU”, European Parliament’s Committeeon Legal Affaris,2016. She has publishednumerous books in prestigious academic publishers (ad e.x The best interest of the child in the Hague Conventions of PrivateInternational Law, Lex Nova, 2004, p. 348; Forumnon conveniens and its adaptation to the European Area, Tirant Lo Blanch, 2011, p. 214). She haspublished numerous articlesin international scientific journals, and book chapters.From 2017 she is and Knowledge Transfer of the NationalDistance University, Faculty of Law.

Verónica López Yagües
AMICABLE Project Assistant (Spain)

Professor of Procedural Law in the Commercial and ProceduralLaw Department, UA (Alicante, Spain)

VERÓNICA LÓPEZ YAGÜES is Lawyer and Doctor of Law from theUniversity of Alicante, where she is Professor of Procedural Law. She is aUniversity Specialist and Master in Mediation in a range of areas. She´s currently the director of the Master and other degrees included in theProgramme of Studies in Mediation of the UA.Her research training has been developed at the UA and completed at the MPI (Freiburg, Germany). She´s the author of several publications in matters of relevance, both within the framework of the criminal process. She has participated in many R + D + i projects. She is a member of different research groups and teams (in particular, ADR-Iustitia). She has participated as a speaker in numerous Congresses, Seminars and Courses at national and international level, sponsored by national and foreign universities and institutions.She has also taken part as a teacher in differentPostgraduate Studies of Spanish and foreign universities. She´s a mediator and trainer of mediators in different university graduate programs and courses, and in training sponsored by different institutions at national and international level.From 2002 to the present, she is a substitute magistrate of the Provincial Court of Alicante and responsible for the Legal Studies Section,the German, Italian and Anglo-American Law sections from the General Journal ofProcedural Law, iustel.com. She represents the University of Alicante in the Conference of Universities for the Study of Mediation and Conflict (CUEMYC) and she’s a member of GEMME (Groupement Européen del Magistrats pour la Médiation).”


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