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International Survey of Family Law: 2013 Edition, The


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The International Survey of Family Law is the International Society of Family Law’s annual review of developments in family law across the world. The 2013 edition covers developments in over 20 countries written by leading academics and family law experts.

Each article is accompanied by a French language abstract.
The 2013 Survey contains contributions from a diverse selection of countries where there have been important developments in family law, including:
  • Children's Rights in Angola
  • Law and Surrogacy Arrangements in India
  • Parental Authority, Contact and Sharing of Child Support in Japan
  • Future Powers of Attorney in Norway
  • Family Law Reform in Mexico City
  • Divorce Law in Poland
  • The Reform of Adoption Law in South Korea
  • The Past, Present, and Future of the Marital Presumption in the United States
Click here to find out more about the society and other editions of the survey.
International and European Developments in Family Law 2013
Louise Crowley
Angola: A Preliminary Appraisal of the Normative Gains for Children’s Rights in the Angolan Children’s Act (Act 25/12 of 22 August 2012)
Julia Sloth-Nielsen and Aquinaldo Mandlate
Australia: New Frontiers for Family Law
Lisa Young
Denmark: Important Recent Developments in Danish Family Law
Marianne Holdgaard
England and Wales: The Battle for Children’s Souls: The Role of Religion in Parental Disputes
Mary Welstead
France: A Chronicle of French Family Law
Centre de droit de la famille (Université Jean Moulin)
Germany: Abolition of Legal Discrimination and Implications of Highest-Court Case-Law
Luise Hauschild
Hungary: Parental Responsibilities and the Child’s Best Interest in the New Hungarian Civil Code (2013) Orsolya Szeibert
India: Law and Surrogacy Arrangements in India
Anil Malhotra and Ranjit Malhotra
Ireland: Constitutional Recognition of Children’s Rights and Paramountcy of Welfare
Maebh Harding
Israel: The Developing Right to Parenthood in Israeli Law
Rhona Schuz
Japan: Family Law in Japan in 2012 – Introduction of the Stop System of Parental Authority, and the Stipulation of Contact and Sharing of Child Support
Kayo Kuribayashi
Kazakhstan: The Reform of the Family Legislation of Kazakhstan: Expectations and Outcomes
Maria Baideldinova Dalpane and Federico Dalpane
Macedonia: The Exercise of Parental Rights After Divorce in Macedonian Family Law
Dejan Mickovik and Angel Ristov
Mexico: Family Law Reform in Mexico City: The Contemporary Legal and Political Intersections
Graciela Jasa Silveira
New Zealand: 2013: A Time of Change in New Zealand Family Law – Marriage Equality, International Surrogacy and Ongoing Changes to the Family Court
Mark Henaghan and Ruth Ballantyne
Norway: Future Powers of Attorney
Peter Hambro
Poland: Divorce Law in Poland: A New Regime Needed?
Anna Stępien-Sporek, Paweł Stoppa and Margaret Ryznar
Scotland: Can Family Law be Rendered More Accessible?
Elaine E Sutherland
South Africa: You Reap What You Sow: Regulating Marriages and Intimate Partnerships in a Diverse, Post-Apartheid Society
Helen Kruuse
South Korea: The Reform of Adoption Law in Korea
Jinsu Yune
Switzerland: A New Law for the Protection of Adults
Ingeborg Schwenzer and Tomie Keller
United States: The Past, Present and Future of the Marital Presumption
June Carbone and Naomi Cahn
Vanuatu: Finding the Law on Adoption in Vanuatu
Jennifer Corrin
Read the full content listing here
Read reviews of previous editions
"a valuable resource"
Family Law

"fascinating reading; an important global snapshot for family practitioners"
New Law Journal

"An essential publication for anyone with an interest in the international aspects of family law"

"a fascinating account of the legislative direction of various jurisdictions and is an invaluable research tool"
Family law is volatile. All around the world we see fresh challenges, moving landscapes and new solutions. Human nature, being what it is, does not allow us to settle back in our comfortable chairs and say that the law is now all sorted for the foreseeable future. Not all is progress: in my own country, the government is intent on stripping back access to the Family Court, denying children regular representation and even keeping lawyers out of the court, all counterintuitive moves. Yet, in many parts of the world, we see the advancement of children’s rights, protection for the vulnerable, and the recognition of family law as an integral part of civil codes and constitutional provisions. We can all learn from one another as our quest for fairer and more equitable policies continues. For this reason the annual publication of the International Survey of Family Law is of such great value. We should recognise the inspiration of previous editors especially Michael Freeman in launching the idea of a Survey. Furthermore, from year to year we must be so very grateful for the authors who are willing to put the time and effort into writing for this book.

This year, we have the usual wide range of topics. Perhaps the one that is shaking most foundations is same-sex marriage, which we read about in the chapters on France, New Zealand, Denmark, Mexico, Australia (where it has been voted down) and in the chapter on International and European law. Other issues involving adult relationships emerge: unmarried cohabitants (Australia, Mexico with discussion of rights for concubines, South Africa with its complex system including developments on customary and Muslim marriages as well as civil unions); and divorce, a live issue especially in Poland and Mexico.

Several countries have seen the status of family law or children’s rights raised, in some instances by references in a civil code (Hungary) or in the constitution (children’s rights and the Irish constitution). Codification is promoted as assisting access to justice in a country such as Scotland. Many other children’s issues are discussed: Angola where a new Children’s Act harmonises with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Children’s Charter; religion in children’s disputes (England and Wales; compare the issue of circumcision in Germany); adoption (France, Kazakhstan, Vanuatu – with its mixture of French, British and customary laws – and South Korea following revisions to its Civil Code); and parental responsibility (Denmark, Japan where new rules on stopping parental authority are in place, Germany with new laws on unmarried fathers, and Macedonia where an argument is made for joint exercise of parental authority after divorce). Issues to do with paternity and human reproduction crop up frequently: the marital presumption (United States); sex change and intersex issues (Australia, France, Kazakhstan); surrogacy (India, New Zealand); child abduction (the chapter on International and European law); and a right to parenthood in the context of liberal reproduction laws in Israel.

In the context of protection of those who lack capacity, we have chapters on ‘future’ or ‘durable’ powers of attorney in Norway and Switzerland respectively, an area that is likely to be of even greater interest to family lawyers as populations age.
Thanks as ever go to our publishers Jordans, especially Cheryl Prophett their editor, our translators who produce the French résumés (Dominique Goubau, and Hugues Fulchiron with his team in Lyon) and also Angela Funnell, my secretary who helps to keep things remarkably on track.
I do hope you enjoy the 2013 edition.

Bill Atkin,
General Editor
Wellington, New Zealand
June 2013

General Editor
Bill Atkin
Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Associate Editor (Africa)
Fareda Banda
Reader in the Laws of Africa, School of Oriental and African Studies, London

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