International Commission on Couple and Family Relations

Patrons of ICCFR


John Chambers OBE

John Chambers OBE (Scotland) was Chair of ICCFR from 1995 to 1998. He had been involved in ICCFR since 1990 and was responsible for co-hosting the 1992 ICCFR conference in Newcastle, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. At that time, he was Chief Executive of RELATE Northern Ireland and before that Chairman of the East Belfast Youth Council. He was also a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and from 1998 to 2009 was Minister of Ness Bank Church of Scotland, Inverness. John has been a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio and a lecturer at Aberdeen University.

Marie-Claire Foblets

Marie-Claire Foblets, Lic. Iur., Lic. Phil., Ph.D. Anthrop (Belgium) is professor of Law at the University of Leuven in Belgium and since 2012 the Director of the Department of Law and Anthropology at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale in Germany. She has held various visiting professorships both within and outside Europe.

Suzie Thorn

Suzie Thorn (USA) is a prominent matrimonial lawyer in San Francisco. She is President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation, of the Suzie S Thorn Family Foundation and of Schapiro-Thorn, Inc. Her initial contact with ICCFR resulted from liaison between the Commission and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts in 1993. She became a Board member in 1995. She was the innovative founder of the ICCFR Trust, which has now been replaced by ICCFR CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation).

Sir Mathew Thorpe

The Rt. Hon. Sir Mathew Thorpe is a former Lord Justice of Appeal (England and Wales), Vice-President of the Family Division and the inaugural Head of International Family Law. He remains the leading expert in the field of the international movement of children.

Sabine Walper

Prof. Dr. Sabine Walper is Professor of Education and Youth Research at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and since 2012 also Director of Research at the German Youth Institute DJI. She is a member of the Scientific Council for Family Issues of the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth. She is Chair of the Scientific Council at the State Institute for Early Education, a member of the Commission for the Rights of Children at the Family Law Court of Germany, and President of the German League for the Child.