European Family Law Volume I

European Family Law Volume I

The Impact of Institutions and Organisations on European Family Law

Edited by Jens M. Scherpe

This four-volume set maps the emerging European family law. It is intended to serve as a resource for anyone interested in this area of law, as well as a basis for teaching on comparative and international family law courses. The first volume examines the impact of institutions and organisations on European family law. While there is no European body that could actually legislate definitively on family law, there are some institutions that have a direct impact on European family law, while the impact of others is more indirect. In the second volume the changing concept of ‘family’ and challenges for domestic family law are analysed in 21 different jurisdictions, in 16 chapters. All contributions look at ‘horizontal’ family law (the law concerning the relationships between adults), ‘vertical’ family law (the law concerning the relationships of adults and children) as well an ‘individual’ family law (the law on names and gender identity). In the third volume the contributions take a comparative view on specific issues from a European perspective. The fourth volume, which works as a stand-alone monograph, draws on all of the previous chapters, and discusses the present and future of European family law. It establishes areas where ‘institutional’ European family law exists – in the sense that there are binding legal rules for all European jurisdictions – for example, as a result of a decision by the European Court of Human Rights. It also identifies areas where, as a result of common legal and social developments for ‘horizontal’, ‘vertical’ and ‘individual’ family law, an ‘organic’ European family law is emerging and suggests how family laws in Europe are going to develop in the future.

Chapter 5: The impact of the Hague Conventions on European family law

Hannah Baker and Maja Groff

Subjects: law - academic, european law, family law


The Hague Conference on Private International Law is a permanent international intergovernmental organisation with 78 Members (77 States and the European Union (EU)) from all regions of the world. The early history of the Hague Conference, with its genesis in 1893, is a predominantly European history, with the organisation’s origins as an ad hoc meeting of 13 European States. The Hague Conference has subsequently developed into a truly global organisation with regional offices in Latin America and in the Asia-Pacific region, while at the same time maintaining strong ties with Europe. Indeed, the Statute of the Hague Conference was amended in 2005 to allow Membership in the Organisation of ‘Regional Economic Integration Organisations’ (REIOs) with appropriate competence in matters within the purview of the Hague Conference, such as the EU, in order to reflect modern political and policy-making realities within Europe. Hague instruments in the family law area are among the most widely-ratified Hague Conventions, attracting States Parties from across the globe and also considerable interest from other international organisations working in the field. This chapter presents an array of areas of family law in which the Hague Conference is and has been active, and thus where the impact of the Hague Conference’s work on European Family Law can be discerned. Of necessity, we have taken only a selection of this work, focusing on international child protection, international protection of adults and relations between (former) spouses.

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