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Movement on cross-border family issues 11/11/2016 Late last month the Government announced that it was going to opt in to a European Commission’s proposal to repeal a Regulation used in cross-border family matters.

Movement on cross-border family issues

Late last month the Government announced that it was going to opt in to a European Commission’s proposal to repeal a Regulation used in cross-border family matters.

The proposal is designed to improve the use of the Brussels IIa Regulation by:

  • “providing clearer deadlines for certain procedures;
  • making it easier for judgments to be recognised and enforced in another Member State;
  • clarifying and streamlining certain parts of cross-border child abduction proceedings;
  • removing the possibility that a court will refuse to enforce a judgment on the basis that it would have applied different national rules to whether a child should have been heard in the proceedings; and
  • clarifying and improving the procedures for cooperation between authorities.”

According to the written statement by Sir Oliver Heald, the Minister of State for Courts and Justice

“Notwithstanding the result of the referendum on EU membership the Government considers it is in the UK’s interests to opt in to this proposal. Firstly the UK already applies the current Regulation to the benefit of UK citizens, including children, in cross-border families, and it wants to avoid the risk that, if the new Regulation comes into force before the UK’s exit, and the UK has not opted in to the Regulation, the existing Regulation will no longer apply to the UK because it might be deemed inoperable. This might mean for a period of time no EU instrument regulates these matters for UK families even though the UK is still a Member State.

“Secondly, even after a UK exit the Regulation will affect UK citizens, principally in other Member States, and it is in the UK’s interests to influence the negotiations. As a family justice measure, this proposal must be agreed by unanimity in the Council.”

The full statement can be found here.

 

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