Global diversity in family law

December 14, 2021

Against the background of cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity, new forms of marriage and new notions of family are driving societal change. What consequences do these developments have for family law? Nadjma Yassari, Head of the Research Group on Islamic Law at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law has edited a new volume, together with Marie-Claire Foblets, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, that examines these questions comparatively.

In all parts of the world, people are raising new family law claims before state courts and authorities on the basis of cultural tradition, ethnic background, religious affiliation, and sexual orientation. These include claims seeking to establish the validity of marriage and divorce contracts entered under religious law, claims for the recognition of same-sex marriages, and claims in respect of other issues ranging from adoption to medically assisted reproduction. How do legal systems meet such challenges, ones for which legislators have often not yet found an answer?

The edited volume “Normativity and Diversity in Family Law”, published as part of the International Academy of Comparative Law (IACL/AIDC) series Ius Comparatum – Global Studies in Comparative Law, addresses these topics with country reports and analyses from Belgium, Germany, Finland, Greece, Iraq, Japan, Austria, Pakistan, South Africa, Czech Republic, Turkey, Tunisia, Hungary and the United Arab Emirates. The essays are largely based on a concept developed by the editors and presented by Nadjma Yassari in 2018 as general rapporteur for the Civil Law Section on "Multicultural Challenges in Family Law" at the 20th Congress of the Academy of Comparative Law in Fukuoka.

The work also contains a general report in which the editors consider the challenges identified by the country reporters and put them into their demographic and historical context. Country report contributors include Lena-Maria Möller, former fellow in the research group on Islamic law, and Anatol Dutta, former research fellow at the Institute.

Nadjma Yassari, Marie-Claire Foblets, Normativity and Diversity in Family Law: Lessons from Comparative Law (Ius Comparatum – Global Studies in Comparative Law, 57), Springer, Cham 2022, VI + 377 pp.

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