Whilst the UK has now left the EU, with a transition period until the end of December 2020, there remain a huge number of international families within the UK and the EU. There are already a great number of international families outside of Europe but with UK or EU connections. It is incumbent on both the UK and EU to find solutions for the benefits of these families and their children. Presuming it is not a continuation of existing EU law and binding CJEU, what is it? The UK will not turn its back on the EU as its closest neighbours where the interests of so many international families are concerned. But it will inevitably now be a different relationship and hopefully one of very good co-working for the benefit of the family law community, for national and international laws, for practising family lawyers and crucially for all international families.
With a nod to George Lucas, how can there be New Hope for a better UK EU co-working family law relationship for the future than the fraught relationship over the past decade with several tensions. How can the UK looking globally help the EU look outwardly beyond the civil world? How can the UK be a bridgehead between the civil and common law? England has already significantly changed its own family law to be nearer some European expectations of family justice and how much should the UK influence the common law world? How can the liberal minded UK and the liberal aspirations of the EU work closely with the increasingly strong Islamic jurisdictions for the many affected international families with UK and EU connections? How can the UK and the EU together work with the emerging and incredibly populous areas of the world whose family laws have little relationship with conventional European liberal and equality expectations? How can the digital innovations of the Hague Conference and elsewhere be extended with UK and EU active support? These and many other questions need exploring. They are urgent. The demographics of the international family community are no longer regional or one continent based. The UK and the EU can give so much to the worldwide family law community over this coming decade. This was not possible with ongoing tensions between the UK and the EU within one justice system
This paper explicitly proceeds on a basis of equality of genders, of nationals and non-nationals, equalities of heterosexuality and same-sex and orientation generally and equalities irrespective of wealth. It proceeds only on the expectation of a priority to the best interests of children. It presumes a good knowledge of international family law hence the shorthand references to international laws.