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Family analysis: The UK government policy papers outlining the legal mechanisms for engaging with the EU after Brexit have come in for protracted criticism. With reciprocity a key element of settling disputes in family law, Eleri Jones, barrister at 1 Garden Court, explains the options.
Brexit: UK wants ‘close and comprehensive’ judicial cooperation with EU LNB News 22/08/2017 92
The government has published a new policy paper which considers a cross-border civil judicial cooperation framework with the EU post-Brexit. The government says it is vital that both parties agree to ‘coherent’ common rules that govern interactions between legal systems. It says that while the UK will sit outside the direct jurisdiction of the Court of Justice, the UK will seek to agree ‘close and comprehensive’ arrangements for civil judicial cooperation.
What are the key issues dealt with in the policy papers from a family law perspective?
The first of the two recent policy papers from the government is entitled Providing a cross-border civil judicial cooperation framework: a future partnership paper, and addresses in general terms the concepts of jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement post-Brexit. The paper considers all aspects of civil law, but includes reference to the main EU Regulations that family lawyers currently use on a daily basis, namely Regulation (EC) 2201/2003 (Brussels II bis), and the EU Maintenance Regulation (EC) 4/2009, although we currently benefit from other EU Regulations too (such as the Protection Measures Regulation (EU) No 606/2013 and the European Enforcement Order Regulation (EC) 805/2004).
The policy paper is mainly a statement of intention, setting out the government’s aims and aspirations for the new agreement that it wishes to negotiate with the EU when the UK leaves the EU. The paper appropriately recognises the importance of having ‘mutually beneficial rules and processes to facilitate and enable cross-border trade, commerce and family life’, an approach which is of course welcome.
The government recognises in itspaper
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