November 16, 2006

Divorce EU style

The liars at the European Commission who claim they want less lawmaking put up a proposal (Rome III) last July - setting out which national legislation should apply in the case of a couple of two nationalities or a not couple living in their native country.
The commission argues it will give clarity and prevent disputes related to "shopping" for jurisdictions, so that if a couple could not agree which divorce law to choose, Rome III would impose the law of the country where they live or have the strongest ties to.

In cases involving non-EU citizens or non-EU states, Rome III would also favour a legislature to which both spouses have a strong connection. The Swedish justice ministry has set out a potential scenario in which European courts might have to deal with a dispute using Iranian law.

Attitudes to divorce differ widely in EU countries. euobserver tells us
it is illegal in Roman Catholic Malta but quick and easy in Sweden, while other member states require different lengths of time of separation prior to divorce or different "bases of fault" on which to legally split.

Ireland plans an opt-out -
"If Ireland were to adopt and implement this measure, this would allow EU nationals resident in Ireland to obtain a divorce in our courts on substantially different and less onerous grounds than that provided for in our constitution".
The UK also plans to opt out.

But is this good enough? How long would it be before the European Court objected to EU citizens being treated differently in different countries?

Which countries - if any - would actually support this proposal?

Indeed, why was the proposal made at all, when the whole area of family law should surely be dealt with by individual member states.

The proposal smacks of bureaucratic, legalistic tidying up where none was required. Satan making mischief for idle hands.

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