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How will Brexit affect family and commercial law?

EU Member States cooperate on civil justice issues providing simplicity and clarity for families and businesses who operate in more than one EU country. From divorces to employment disputes, regulations set out where disputes should be dealt with and provide for mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments across the EU

At the end of the Brexit implementation period, when EU law no longer applies in the UK, it is unclear to what extent any cooperation will be maintained.
The House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee will be meeting at 10:45am Tuesday 25 February in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords to ask a panel of experts how this aspect of Brexit might affect families and businesses in the future.
The Committee will be hearing from:

  • Christopher Hames QC, Bar Council
  • Professor Nigel Lowe QC (Hon), Emeritus Professor, Cardiff University
  • Helen Raulus, Head of the Brussels Office, UK Law Society
  • Jacqueline Renton, Barrister, 4 Paper Buildings

The Committee has conducted previous inquiries into civil justice cooperation after Brexit, and raised a number of concerns about the lack of firm proposals from Government on what, if anything, will replace the current framework – which plays a significant role in the lives of those whose business or family affairs is split between the UK and the EU.
The recently published EU Commission proposals for negotiations on a future relationship with the UK make no mention of including civil law within the scope of the negotiations.

Likely areas of discussion at the Committee's meeting include:

  • What impact no longer being part of EU cooperation in this field is likely to have.
  • What alternative arrangements could be put in place.
  • Whether it could result in more work for UK courts, and whether they have the resources to deal with this.
  • What impact this could have on child abduction cases.

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