Brussels II revised: recent developments

29 MAY 2007

James H Maguire, Partner, DWF, Manchester and Jeremy Rosenblatt, Barrister, 22 Old Buildings Chambers. Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 (Brussels II Revised) came into force on 1 March 2005, making some changes to the existing law concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility. As the new rules have worn in there have been a number of cases in the English courts where the revised boundaries have rubbed against existing laws in this very important area.

Under Brussels II Revised the jurisdictional rules for parental responsibility have changed and the courts of a Member State where a child is habitually resident will have jurisdiction. The Regulation also makes provision for matters concerning child abduction, return of the child and enforcement of return orders. In this article the author talks through the key new provisions and highlights the issues which have arisen in recent cases in the English courts in response to the operation of Brussels II Revised. In many ways the Regulation compliments or supplements the Hague Convention in relation to child abduction. However, practical problems remain and it is important that the courts of all Member States and the practitioners involved communicate and co-operate, keeping in mind at all times the interests of the child. For the full article see June [2007] Fam Law.

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