International co-operation - challenges and opportunities

International co-operation - challenges and opportunities

The Commission on European Family Law has been in operation for 12 years now. In August 2013, it held its 5th conference in the beautiful university city of Bonn, Germany. Entitled Family Law and Culture in Europe - Developments, Challenges and Opportunities the conference celebrated the launch of the Commission’s newest publication on the Principles of European Family Law regarding Property Relations between Spouses. This mammoth task has now been as fully developed as it can be at this time, so the Commission announced it is now turning to focus on the law relating to unmarried couples.

Areas of interest

Lawyers and academics from 33 countries attended the conference, with a good showing from the Nordic countries, from eastern European countries, and from jurisdictions as far away as Japan and China.  Highlights of the presentations and panel discussions included:

  • the principles common to all jurisdictions including, equality for spouses during marriage and afterwards, protection of the family home, mutual sharing of information, and how to reflect the needs of the children when seeking fairness
  • the principle that spouses should be free to enter into agreements regulating their marital property - in much of Europe, one lawyer (often a notary) advises both parties, often very close to the wedd

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