The Impact of Institutions and Organisations on European Family Law
Edited by Jens M. Scherpe
Chapter 3: The impact of the Council of Europe on European family law
In this chapter consideration is given to the impact of the Council of Europe’s work on family law reform, the focus being on its conventions and recommendations rather than on the human rights jurisprudence generated by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The 2008 Report on Council of Europe Achievements in the Field of Law – Family law and the Protection of Children states: The Council of Europe has been working for over 40 years to harmonise policies and adopt common standards and practices in its member states in the field of family law. The Council has contributed in a decisive manner to the strengthening of the legal protection of the family, in particular the protection of the interests of children and has, notably, drawn up a large number of international instruments (conventions and recommendations) on the subject. These standards have been used both to improve the legal systems of member states and as a basis on which to make proposals to individual States seeking to reform their systems of family law. At the request of the States concerned the Council of Europe has provided technical assistance to numerous States to assist them with their reforms concerning family law. Before examining this programme and its impact, it will be helpful to explain what the Council of Europe is, how it works, what its mandate is and the types of instruments it produces. Founded in 1949, the Council of Europe was one of the European institutional responses to the Second World War.
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