Party autonomy in EU private international law relating to family matters and succession- Evaluating coherence in the Union context
PhD student: Mrs J. Gray
Promotor: Mrs Prof K. Boele-Woelki
Duration: 1/12/2012 - 30/11/2016
PhD defence: Utrecht, 14/10/2019
During the past twenty years, the EU has undertaken the ambitious task of unifying private international law rules on a supranational level. As part of its mission to create ‘a genuine European area of justice’, instruments have been introduced on family matters (matrimonial matters, parental responsibility, property relations and maintenance) and succession. One development brought forth by this process is the widespread introduction of party autonomy (the opportunity to make a choice of law or Member State court) to these fields.
This research evaluates the party autonomy provisions established in the EU’s instruments on family matters and succession in light of the status of such rules as measures of Union law. This approach involves identifying the particular values that the EU attaches to party autonomy, as well as the more general objectives behind legislative action in the Union setting, and evaluating the coherence of these provisions with the established parameters. In addition to examining individual party autonomy provisions, regard is given to the cohesion that may be achieved through coordination of the rules that apply to related areas. The existence and consequences of cohesion are assessed according to the same values through which the entirety of this research is conducted.
This undertaking is distinguished not only by its narrowed focus upon the EU perspective, but also by its employment of a simultaneous method in evaluating the framework as a whole. This novel approach serves to generate conclusions on the ‘state of affairs’ following the recent flurry of legislative activity.