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Family law leaves the EU: the conjunctive or disjunctive interpretation resolved by EU guidance

Date:8 SEP 2020
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Family lawyer


Over the summer there was real uncertainty concerning the proper and appropriate interpretation of a key part of the 2019 EU Withdrawal Agreement (WA).  Not a matter of mere academic or political interest it was vital for family law practitioners to know how to prepare for EU exit specifically what steps should be taken in their cases this autumn and winter.  Last week the EU published guidance which very helpfully clarified the position confirmed by the UK Ministry of Justice.  The consequence is that there should be far less need for expedited hearings or conclusions of cases before 31 December 2020.  This note can only summarise some of the issues.  The full background and explanatory guidance is set out in the book due to be published late September by LEXIS-NEXIS written by the author: ‘Family law leaves the EU: a summary guide for practitioners’. 

The 2019 Withdrawal Agreement

Entered into in October 2019 and effective 1 February 2020 when the UK had legally left the EU it covers in Articles 67-69 the transitional arrangements in respect of civil and family proceedings including family laws...

Read the full article here.