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International Survey of Family Law books

The International Survey of Family Law is the International Society of Family Law’s annual review of developments in family law across the world, written by leading academics and experts. Each article is accompanied by a French language abstract.


On the initiative of Professor Zeev Falk, the Society was launched at the University of Birmingham, UK, in April 1973.

The Society’s first international conference was held in West Berlin in April 1975 on the theme The Child and the Law. There were over 200 participants, including representatives of governments and international organisations.

The second international conference was held in Montreal in June 1977 on the subject Violence in the Family. There were over 300 participants from over 20 countries.

A third world conference on the theme Family Living in a Changing Society was held in Uppsala, Sweden in June 1979. There were over 270 participants from 26 countries.

The fourth world conference was held in June 1982 at Harvard Law School, USA. There were over 180 participants from 23 countries.

The fifth world conference was held in July 1985 in Brussels, Belgium on the theme The Family, The State and Individual Security, under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Fabiola of Belgium, the Director-General of UNESCO, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe and the President of the Commission of the European Communities.

The sixth world conference on Issues of the Ageing in Modern Society was held in 1988 in Tokyo, Japan, under the patronage of HIH Takahito Mikasa. There were over 450 participants.

The seventh world conference was held in May 1991 in Croatia on the theme, Parenthood: The Legal Significance of Motherhood and Fatherhood in a Changing Society. There were 187 participants from 37 countries.

The eighth world conference took place in Cardiff, Wales in June/July 1994 on the theme Families Across Frontiers.

The ninth world conference of the Society was held in July 1997 in Durban, South Africa on the theme Changing Family Forms: World Themes and African Issues.

The Society’s tenth world conference was held in July 2000 in Queensland, Australia on the theme Family Law: Processes, Practices and Pressures.

The eleventh world conference was held in August 2002 in Copenhagen and Oslo on the theme Family Life and Human Rights.

The Society’s twelfth world conference was held in Salt Lake City, Utah in July 2005 on the theme Family Law: Balancing Interests and Pursuing Priorities.

The Society’s thirteenth world conference was held in Vienna in September 2008. The Society has also increasingly held regional conferences including those in Lyon, France (1995); Quebec City, Canada (1996); Seoul, South Korea (1996); Prague, Czech Republic (1998); Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA (June 1999); Oxford, UK (August 1999); and Kingston, Ontario (2001).

In 2003, regional conferences took place in Oregon, USA; Tossa de Mar, Spain; and Lyon, France and, in July 2004, in Beijing, China, on the theme ‘Divorce and its Consequences’. In 2005, a regional conference took place in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and dealt with the centennial anniversary of the establishment of legislation on child protection and the juvenile courts.

In 2007 there were regional conferences in Chester (England), entitled ‘Family Justice: For Whom and How?’ and Vancouver (Canada), entitled ‘Making Family Law: Facts, Values and Practicalities’.

In 2009 there were conferences in Tel Aviv (Israel), Porto (Portugal) and Sao Paolo (Brazil), and in 2010 Kansas City (USA), Tsukuba University (Japan), the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland) and the Caribbean.

There has since been a world conference in Lyon (France) in July 2011 and regional conferences in Iowa City in June 2012, Israel in December 2012 and Brooklyn in New York in June 2013. The next world conference will be in Recife, Brazil from 6 to 9 August 2014.