PhD ceremony: Ms. N.A. Baarsma, 14.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Thesis: The europeanisation of international family law. From dutch to European law: an analysis on the basis of the choice of law on divorce and on the termination of registered partnerships
Promotor(s): prof. M.H. ten Wolde
Love is oblivious to boundaries. However, from a legal perspective things are not so straightforward; law is, on the contrary, often strongly bound by borders.
In the European Union questions of international family law arise to an increasing extent resulting from the higher mobility of citizens. International family law is an area that is predominantly regulated by national law. Currently the national choice of law rules of the EU Member States are more and more displaced by common European rules, which will entail considerable changes. The nature and reasons of the changes brought about by the transition from a national to a supranational choice of law approach have been discussed in one particular field of international family law: the termination by dissolution of marriages and marriage-like registered partnerships. The current Dutch and the proposed European choice of law rules on divorce have been examined and compared. The conclusion is that the mentioned transition will - obviously - entail changes, but both systems have many characteristics in common. However, some Member States strongly opposed the European proposal and no consensus could be reached. The analysis of the failure of the European proposal shows that the most important bottleneck is the lack of a theoretical foundation of the unified choice of law. The concluding chapter produces a number of recommendations on the development of (a theoretical foundation of) the European system of international family law, starting from the principles and objectives of European law. Foremost it is important that the Europeanisation of the choice of law is not considered as a goal in itself. Moreover, more transparency and coherence are required.
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