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Clarkson & Hill's Conflict of Laws

Clarkson & Hill's Conflict of Laws (5th edn)

Jonathan Hill and Máire Ní Shúilleabháin
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date: 30 September 2023

p. 4088. Matrimonial causeslocked

p. 4088. Matrimonial causeslocked

  • Jonathan HillJonathan HillProfessor of Law, University of Bristol


This chapter examines the jurisdiction of the English court and the choice of law process in proceedings for divorce, judicial separation, and annulment of marriage, and the extent to which the decrees of foreign courts in such matrimonial cases are recognised in England. It discusses similar rules which have been introduced in relation to same-sex marriage and civil partnership. Finally, the chapter considers the powers of the English court to grant financial relief and to recognise foreign maintenance orders. The Domicile and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1973 introduced new uniform grounds of jurisdiction for matrimonial proceedings. These grounds were based on the policy that at least one of the parties, whether husband or wife, applicant or respondent, should have a sufficient connection with England to make it reasonable for the English court to deal with the case and likely that the divorce would be recognised in other countries. The Brussels II bis Regulation imposes uniform jurisdictional rules throughout the European Union (except Denmark, which did not participate in the adoption of the Regulation) and provides for almost automatic recognition of divorces, annulments, and separations granted by the courts of the Member States.

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