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Henry Brookman, Partner, Brookman Solicitors
The purpose of this article is to look at the practical issues confronting a practitioner in the early stages of matrimonial proceedings where there is any question at all of an international element. There are many academic articles on choice of forum rules, learned articles about various remedies and obscure cases, etc. All these quite reasonably focus on the legal rules that apply to identifiable cases. However from the perspective of the humble labourer in the vineyard - the solicitor seeing a client, perhaps for the first time, perhaps over the first couple of meetings, the critical question is to identify whether there really is a relevant international element at all. It is not necessarily obvious. For example, the fact that the client may have a non-British nationality may or may not be important. In my experience quite often clients think that the place where they were married has particular importance; sometimes it does, sometimes it does not.
Identifying whether there are cogent international law issues is really a filtering exercise. We need to pick up on clues derived from the instructions, if necessary expand on them, and then refine our advice accordingly.
To read the rest of this article, see October  Family Law journal.
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This work provides commentary, checklists, procedural guides and precedents on the subject in a...