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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

08 OCT 2007

Matrimonial property: harmony in Europe?

CMV Clarkson, University of Leicester and Elizabeth Cooke, University of Reading. In 2006 the European Commission published a Green Paper on Conflict of Laws in Matters concerning Matrimonial Property Regimes, including the Question of Jurisdiction and Mutual Recognition (COM(2006) 400 final SEC(2006)952)) for consultation. According to the European Commission there are some 170,000 international divorces (16% of all divorces) in the EU each year. The promotion of the European goal of free movement of persons throughout the EU would be facilitated by the introduction of uniform choice of law rules and mutual recognition rules throughout the EU, with the aim of ensuring that whichever court has jurisdiction within the EU in disputes concerning matrimonial property, the same law will be applied leading to uniformity of result. Any judgment obtained would be entitled to automatic recognition and enforcement throughout the EU. The instrument envisaged by the Green Paper would apply both during marriage and on divorce, and might apply not only to married couples but also to civil or registered partners as well as non-formalised cohabitation unions. In this article, the authors look at the issues raised by the Green Paper and summarise the suggestions they put forward to the Ministry of Justice on the implications of the proposed instrument for the UK in a research paper that they were commissioned to write earlier this year. For the full article see October [2007] Fam Law.

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