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Matrimonial Property Regimes in the Conflict of Laws: A European Regime?

16th June 2008

What is this seminar about?

On 5 February 2008, the European Commission published a summary of the 40 replies to its Green Paper on the conflict of laws in matters concerning matrimonial property regimes, including the question of jurisdiction and mutual recognition of 17 July 2006.

The Commission concludes in this document that its initiative was broadly welcomed, although it also appreciated that a number of those responding considered (1) the project too ambitious, or (2) the Green paper to have been drafted without a proper understanding of the Common Law - it being recalled that England and Wales do not have a matrimonial property regime as understood in continental Europe.

This year, the Commission intends to continue the consultation. Accordingly, the summary document of the replies makes an attempt at giving an overview of the discussion with the objective of identifying the issues to be addressed at the public hearing in 2008. An abstract from the Commission's summary:

"The general feeling is that the confusion that not only professionals but also their customers suffer, due to the non-existence of applicable international conventions in this field (only three Member States have ratified the Hague Convention on the law applicable to matrimonial property regimes, of 14 March 1978), and the exclusion of these matters from the scope of the Community instruments currently in force, are in themselves very good reasons to try to establish a single, comprehensive legal instrument."

What is the aim of this seminar?

This seminar, which brings together the leading academics and practitioners in this area is to stimulate further discussion of the topic in England & Wales. It brings together a group of experts and will provide a useful and timely domestic platform for the legal practice and academia to address two questions: (1) what are good reasons to establish a single, comprehensive legal instrument on matrimonial property regimes at the European level, and (2) how can the interests of the practice in England & Wales, and of predominant importance the interests of clients, be guaranteed optimally in this process?


The seminar will allow ample time for discussion and will be followed by a reception. Solicitors and barristers may claim 2 CPD hours through attendance at this event.

If you would like to receive updates similar Institute events, please sign up to this website. Those with a particular interest in private international law are also encouraged to sign up to the Institute's Private International Law Discussion List.

This seminar is part of the British Institute's 2007-2008 Seminar Series on Private International Law, which is kindly sponsored by:

This series explores issues which are of topical importance for current legal practice and study in the field of Private International Law. If you have any queries relating to this event please contact Jacob van de Velden.

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