European Family Law Volume II
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European Family Law Volume II

The Changing Concept of ‘Family’ and Challenges for Domestic 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 10: The changing concept of ‘family’ and challenges for family law in Russia

Olga Khazova


The main source of Russian family law is the Family Code of the Russian Federation. It was adopted in 1995 in the course of the comprehensive reform of Russian law that followed the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Although the Family Code introduced significant changes into a wide spectrum of family law issues, it was not as radical a departure from the previous law as one might have expected given the period of its promulgation. One of the principal explanations for this was that Soviet family law was relatively liberal when compared with family law in Western countries in the same period. According to Goldman the first Soviet Family Code (adopted a year after the 1917 Revolution) ‘constituted nothing less than the most progressive family legislation the world had ever seen’. Shortly after, in 1926, even extramarital relations were legalised. Many of the legal provisions enacted during the first post-revolutionary years served as a basis for further family legislation and, as will be shown in this chapter, survived through the whole Soviet period and were included in the post-Soviet Family Code 1995.

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