European Family Law Volume I
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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.
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Chapter 6: The impact of the Commission on European Family Law (CEFL) on European family law

Katharina Boele-Woelki


For more than a decade the Commission on European Family Law (CEFL) has been working in the field of European comparative family law, doing so from a purely academic perspective. The CEFL collects, analyses and compares the family law approaches and solutions of the European jurisdiction countries in order to draft non-binding Principles of European Family Law. In so doing, the CEFL supports reform endeavours which try to modernise national family laws. In 2004, the Principles of European Family Law Regarding Divorce and Maintenance between Former Spouses were published, followed by the Principles of European Family Law Regarding Parental Responsibilities in 2007. In 2013, Principles of European Family Law Regarding Property Relations between Spouses were published, covering the general rights and duties of spouses, marital agreements and two matrimonial property regimes: participation in acquisitions and the community of acquisitions. This chapter will outline the aims of the CEFL and the ideas and values underpinning the Principles of European Family Law and thus the work of CEFL in general. In order to determine which aims such principles could and should have it is prudent first to examine the working method of the CEFL as well as the existing outcomes, embodied in the sets of principles mentioned above. The CEFL developed its own working method immediately after its formation, which it has used ever since.

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