European Commission’s Proposal on Succession and Wills to Be Presented Shortly

According to the January 2009 issue of Brussels News, the information bulletin of the Brussels Office of the Bar Council, the European Commission will present its Proposal for a regulation on PIL aspects of succession and wills on 24 March 2009:

Wills and Succession
The Commission’s long-awaited private international law proposal is due out on 24 March. It is expected to cover not only applicable law, but also jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement. The Chancery Bar Association has been actively following preparations, and will react.

As it is widely known, works on the proposed EC legislation have been prepared by the Commission through a Green Paper on Succession and Wills, published in 2005 (see also the annex working document – in French), and a subsequent public hearing, held on 30 November 2006, based on the contributions received in reply to the Green Paper. On 16 November 2006, the European Parliament voted a resolution with recommendations, calling on the Commission to submit a legislative proposal (see our post here).

A thorough research had been previously carried at an academic level, on behalf of the Commission, by the Deutsches Notarinstitut in cooperation with Prof. H. Dörner and Prof. P . Lagarde (the whole documentation – including the Final Report – can be downloaded from the Documentation Centre of the DG Justice, Freedom and Security).

Following the research, a conference, “Conflict of Law of Succession in the European Union – Perspectives for a Harmonisation“, was organized in Brussels on 10-11 May 2004, where a number of very interesting papers were presented by leading scholars from various European jurisdictions. The proceedings of the symposium (highly recommended) are available on the DNotI website.

On the Commission’s initiative, see also our Guest Editorial (“Reflections on the Proposed EU Regulation on Succession and Wills“) by Prof. Jonathan Harris (University of Birmingham, co-editor of the Journal of Private International Law), who has been advising the UK Ministry of Justice on the proposed Regulation, and gave oral evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on European Union Law in October 2007. The transcript of this evidence is available here.

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