The European Commission published a draft Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 as regards jurisdiction and introducing rules concerning applicable law in matrimonial matters" on 17 July 2006. Referred to as Rome III or EU Divorce Regulation this draft legislative proposal has come under scrutiny in the recent months. In civil justice and family law matters, the UK Government have a choice whether to be bound by EU legislation or not Ireland has a similar choice. Denmark remains wholly outside any proposals in this area. The other Member States have no such choice.
The UK Government and the Government of the Republic of Ireland had until 26 October 2006 to opt in to this Regulation. They chose not to. The other Member States will negotiate without them. There is an opportunity for the UK and Ireland to opt-in once the legislative proposal has been finalised although this appears unlikely. For the full news story see  International Family Law, Issue 4.