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 7: The impact of the EU private international law instruments on European family law

Dieter Martiny


While in the early days of European integration there was a reluctance to integrate family matters under Community law, in recent years there has been a rapid unification of parts of international family law in Europe with the implementation of several legislative programmes. This is in line with the growing mobility and the increasing internationality of family relations in Europe. The issue of family is now seen as a part of European integration, and more and more national conflict-of-law rules of the European Union (EU) member states are being displaced by common European rules. Nevertheless, the development of an international European family law remains time-consuming and faces specific challenges. These include peculiarities of legislative competence. The national, the European and the international spheres must be coordinated. The content of European regulations must also be developed with a view to divergent national concepts and traditions. There are many political and legal debates about the gradual development of European private international law. At present European international family law encompasses core areas of law like matrimonial law, child law and maintenance law. It forms a part of European private international law (PIL), which in a process dating back many years now has become increasingly Europeanised. More and more uniform procedural rules and also substantive rules of private international law have been introduced.

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