Centre for Private International Law awarded two RSE Research Grants

The University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Private International Law was awarded two prestigious research grants by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The grants will support essential research which will help to shape the development of Scots Private International Law at a crucial moment in the history of its development. Through a series of events, the research will assess the implications of Brexit for Scots Private International Law, analysing the current state of the law with a view to proposing necessary reforms.

The first project, ‘Laying the Foundations for a Restatement of Scots Private International Law’ will run from January to December 2022 and is led by Dr Justin Borg-Barthet as Principal Investigator, and Dr Katarina Trimmings and Dr Patricia Živković as Co-Investigators. The project will take stock of the present state of Scots law and its relationship with other legal systems, and – drawing on the experiences of other States – will assess how a restatement of Scots Private International Law could be formulated, as well as routes for advocating reform.

The funding will support the organisation of a series of workshops which will bring together scholars, practitioners and policymakers from Scotland and beyond. The work will be supported by a core team consisting of Prof Janeen Carruthers (University of Glasgow), Aude Fiorini (University of Dundee) and Dr Veronica Ruiz Abou-Nigm (University of Edinburgh). Upon completion of the research, the Centre for Private International Law will produce scholarly outputs as well as policy memoranda to prompt and inform discussion on necessary legal reform.

The second project, ‘Protection of international families with links to the European Union post-Brexit: Collaborative Scotland-EU partnership’ will run from March 2022 to February 2024. It is led by Dr Katarina Trimmings with Professor Mirela Župan (University of Osijek, Croatia) and Professor Thalia Kruger (University of Antwerp, Belgium) as Co-Investigators. The project will develop an international network to address an urgent need to secure adequate post-Brexit protection of international families with links to the EU in Scotland and vice versa.

Through a series of activities, the research will examine and assess the operation of the Hague Family Law Conventions in Scotland and EU Member States with strong familial link to Scotland (Belgium, Croatia, Poland, Ireland, Italy and Lithuania) with the aim of securing uniform interpretation and application of these international instruments. In order to achieve this, good practice points will be identified through the project activities and shared with relevant legal practitioners and judicial and administrative authorities in the participating jurisdictions. Additionally, where appropriate, policy recommendations will be made to national policy makers.

The projects continue the Centre for Private International Law’s long tradition of impactful research intended to provide a scholarly basis for legal reform with real implications for families and businesses. The Centre is thankful to the Royal Society of Edinburgh and our project partners for their continued support of our work.

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