Tag Archive for: international family law

Rome III Regulation Adopted by Council

As a Christmas gift for European PIL scholars, the first enhanced cooperation in the history of the EU has been achieved in the field of conflict of laws (on the origin of the initiative see our previous post here).

The Council, in its meeting of 20 December 2010, adopted the Rome III regulation implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation (for previous steps of the procedure, see here and here). As of mid-2012 (18 months after its adoption, pursuant to Art. 21), the Rome III reg. will apply in the 14 Member States which have been authorised to participate in the enhanced cooperation by Council decision no. 2010/405/EU: Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia. Further Member States which wish to participate may do so in accordance with the second or third subparagraph of Article 331(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The text of the new regulation is available in Council doc. no. 17523/10 of 17 December 2010; after the signing of the President of the Council, it will be soon published in the Official Journal. The regulation is accompanied by a Declaration of the Council regarding the insertion of a provision on forum necessitatis in reg. no. 2201/2003, worded as follows:

The Council invites the Commission to submit at its earliest convenience to the Council and to the European Parliament a proposal for the amendment of Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 with the aim of providing a forum in those cases where the courts that have jurisdiction are all situated in Member States whose law either does not provide for divorce or does not deem the marriage in question valid for the purposes of divorce proceedings (forum necessitatis).

The European Parliament, merely consulted under the special legislative procedure provided by Art. 81(3) TFEU for measures concerning family law, gave its opinion on 15 December 2010 (informal contacts with the Council have ensured that the EP views were taken into account in the final text). In the preamble of the legislative resolution, the EP called “on the Commission to submit a proposal for amendment of Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003, limited to the addition of a clause on forum necessitatis, as a matter of great urgency before the promised general review of that Regulation”.

Many thanks to Federico Garau (Conflictus Legum blog) and to Marina Castellaneta for the tip-off.

Rome III: Agreement in Council on the Text of the New Rules on Divorce and Legal Separation

The JHA Council, in its meeting held on 3 December 2010 in Brussels, agreed on the text (doc. n. 17045/10) of the Rome III regulation implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation (see our previous post here).

As stated in the Council’s press release (doc. n. 17151/10),

The new rules will apply to all participating member states as of mid-2012. Other EU member states which are not yet ready but wish to join this pioneer group at a later stage will be able to do so. The agreement also constitutes the implementation of the first enhanced cooperation in the history of the EU.

For its adoption two more procedural steps are necessary:  The European Parliament is expected to adopt an opinion on the file in its December plenary session.  The Council will then adopt the new rules without discussion, most likely at the Environment Council on 20 December 2010.

Upon the adoption, the regulation will be accompanied by declarations by the Council (on forum necessitatis), and by the Commission, Malta and Finland on a new controversial art. 7a (“Differences in national law”): see Annexes I, II, III and IV to doc. n. 17046/10.

The position of the European Parliament, under examination in the JURI Committee, can be found in the Draft report prepared by rapporteur Tadeusz Zwiefka (see, in particular, the Explanatory Statement) and additional amendments.

EP Workshop on Civil Justice: “How to facilitate the life of European families and citizens?”

On 30 November 2010 the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs will host in Brussels an interparliamentary workshop on Civil Justice, organized in collaboration with the national parliaments of the Member States: How to facilitate the life of European families and citizens?. The conference is structured in 4 parts, and can be watched live in video streaming on the EP’s website:

Morning Sessions (h 9.30 – 13.00):

  • Opening
  • I. Family Law: Latest Developments and the Way Forward;
  • II. Cross-Border Successions.

Afternoon Sessions (h 15 – 18.30):

  • III. Parental Responsibility and the Protection Of Children;
  • IV. Civil Status;
  • Conclusions.

Each session will include speakers from the EP, national parliaments and the Commission, as well as the academic world and practitioners: a detailed draft programme is available here.

Here’s a presentation of the event:

Removing the legal and administrative barriers that citizens face when they start a family life in a Member State other than their own will be at the centre of the Workshop on Civil Justice which will take place in the European Parliament on 30 November.

The Workshop, which will be attended by EU and national parlamentarians, will be composed of four thematic sessions. The first two sessions will present the “state of play” in the drafting of new legal instruments in the field of European family law and the law of succession.

The third session will focus on child protection in cross-border situations. The topics of parental responsibility, including the controversial issue of the recognition of surrogacy agreements, as well as of international adoption will be addressed therein. Legal practitioners and academics will report on the current situation as it stands in several Member States.

The last session will provide an overview of the current difficulties faced by citizens in proving their civil status in cross-border situations. In this regard, a number of actions ranging from the suppression of the legalisation formalities of civil status acts to the interconnection of civil status registers will be presented. The challenging idea of creating a European “civil status” document will also be discussed.

Finally, the Workshop will  also include speeches from Melchior Wathelet, Belgian State Secretary for Family Policy, on the achievements of the Belgian Presidency in the field of family law and Viviane Reding, European Commission (EC) Vice-President, on the actions planned by the EC in this field.

Convergence and Divergence in Private International Law – Liber Amicorum Kurt Siehr

As we pointed out in a previous post, a very rich collection of essays in honor of Prof. Kurt Siehr on his 75th birthday has been recently published by Eleven International Publishing and Schulthess, under the editorship of Katharina Boele-Woelki, Talia Einhorn, Daniel Girsberger and Symeon Symeonides: Convergence and Divergence in Private International Law – Liber Amicorum Kurt Siehr. A previous Festschrift was dedicated to Prof. Siehr in 2000: “Private Law in the International Arena – From National Conflict Rules Towards Harmonization and Unification: Liber amicorum Kurt Siehr” (see Google Books).

Here’s the table of contents:

Part I: General Aspects of PIL Law-Making.

  • Talia Einhorn, American vs. European Private International Law – The Case for a Model Conflict of Laws Act (MCLA);
  • Peter Hay, Comparative and International Law in the United States – Mixed Signals;
  • Herbert Kronke, Connecting Factors and Internationality in Conflict of Laws and Transnational Commercial Law;
  • Jim Nafziger, Democratic Values in the Choice-of-Law Process;
  • Anton K. Schnyder, Keine Berührungsangst des Schweizerischen Bundesgerichts im Umgang mit Eingriffsnormen;
  • Frank Vischer, ‘Revolutionary ideas’ and the Swiss Statute on Private International Law;
  • Jun Yokoyama, Renvoi in Japanese Private International Law.

Read more