„Empowering European Families” presented at the 2016 Rethinkin seminar in Utrecht

Not only in Italy, but also in the Netherlands the Empowering European Project has been recently presented, in Utrecht at the 2016 Rethinkin Seminar. RETHINKIN currently is comprised of the entire Flemish academic research into family law with the Dutch Alliantie Familie & Recht as “Low Countries”. The aim of RETHINKIN is the scientific redefinition of family law in the Low Countries.

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During the second day of the 2016 seminar international families governed the agenda with the EEF project as one of the themes. First the project was explained by Wendy Schrama, one of the three project coordinators. She focused on the results from the first workstream on the private international law aspects of international divorces.

Mirela Župan, associate professor and holder of the private international law Chair at the J.J. Strossmayer University of Osiejek in Croatia, then presented a paper on party autonomy and its development in recent times. She remarked that party autonomy on private international law is directly linked to the openness of substantive family law; an aspect in particular relevant for the EEF project, which includes in workstream 2 and 3 substantive family law. Prof. Župan then discussed the arguments in favour and against the use of party autonomy in private international law, including the promotion of human rights and self-determination and the empowerment of EU citizens.

Communication and awareness aspects asked for a communication science perspective on the model agreement and information sheets for international couples, that had been drafted by the EEF Working Group within workstream 1. How can complex legal information be provided to couples and legal professionals? Leo Lentz, who is a professor of Document Design and Communication at the Utrecht Institute for Linguistics UIL-OTS at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, was invited to shed light on these questions. In an interactive workshop he made the participants think about the communications aims of the model agreement, the target group, and then given these goals and target group, the corresponding communication genre should be selected.  It was a very informative working group, making legal professionals aware of the relevance of input from the communication and language sciences.

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Visiting foreign researcher: Ivna Godžirov (University of Zagreb, Croatia)

My name is Ivna Godžirov. I am a PhD cIvnaandidate at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, in the field of private and public international law. Apart from my PhD studies, I work full-time as a notary candidate in Croatia, mostly focused on family property matters and succession planning.

As a guest researcher under the Erasmus+ internship programme, I am staying at the UCERF for a period of three months working on my PhD research proposal on private international law aspects of successions and family property regimes.



2nd International RETHINKIN. expert meeting in Utrecht

On Tuesday the 13th of September the second workshop of the 2nd International RETHINKIN. expert meeting is taking place in Utrecht. To see the programme click here.



Visiting foreign researcher: dr. Brian Sloan (Cambridge)

Dr Brian Sloan from Robinson College, Cambridge visited UCERF for two weeks in August 2016. During his visit, he gave a talk on “Formal and Informal Care”, in which he sought to explore the complex relationship between his early work on “Informal Carers and Private Law” and his current project on “Adult Social Care and Property Rights”.

As well as conducting his own research, Brian had meetings with several Centre members on topics of mutual interest. These included discussions with Prof Wendy Schrama on intergenerational solidarity and the redistribution of property of informal cohabitants; with Drs Susanne Burri and Susanne Heeger-Hertter on work and care; with Dr Marjolein van den Brink on gender identity; with Dr Christina Jeppesen-De Boer on the relationship between public and private support mechanisms; with Evelien Verhagen on matrimonial property law; and with Soraya Bou-Sfia on issues of identity in child law.

Brian very much enjoyed his visit to Utrecht and hopes to keep in touch with UCERF and its members in the future.



‘Culture, Dispute Resolution and the Modernised Family’ Conference

In July a large group of UCERF researchers visited the ‘Culture, Dispute Resolution and the Modernised Family’ conference in London, organized by the International Centre for Family Law, Policy and Practice. At this international conference a wide range of family law topics were covered, with many academics and practitioners from around the world attending. The research of UCERF was well-represented at the conference. Multiple UCERF researchers gave a presentation: ‘State Involvement in Religious Upbringing’ (dr. Merel Jonker & dr. Jet Tigchelaar), ‘Marriage and informal cohabitation: towards a care-based system?’ (Prof. Wendy Schrama), ‘Legal Gender Identity and The Law of Parentage’ (dr. Marjolein van den Brink) and ‘What Comes First, Return Proceedings or Conciliation Attempts?’ (dr. Merel Jonker & dr. Christina Jeppesen de Boer).

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