Comparative Family Law


In a globalising world, more families are crossing borders, and we are confronted with social and legal issues from other jurisdictions for which conflict of law rules alone cannot always provide adequate solutions. In addition, national reforms can be informed by experiences of other countries. This has led to a dramatic increase in practical and academic work in Comparative Family Law, as evidenced for example by the work of the Commission on European Family Law or the journal International Family Law.

What is lacking is a comprehensive book, covering the basic areas of family law from an international and comparative perspective, which is what I hope to write, building on my teaching in this area. The book would not only serve as a basic text for the increasing numbers of courses on Comparative Family Law but also as starting point for further research. The focus will be on the Western jurisdictions but material from other jurisdictions will be included where appropriate, particularly when a better-law or contrastive approach is taken. The book will begin with a discussion of what ‘family’ and consequentially ‘family law’ actually is; this will be followed by a chapter on the relevance of gender for law. Other chapters on legal recognition of adult relationships, the role of private autonomy in family law, parentage and the right to know one’s genetic heritage and the legal relationship of parent and child will be influenced by the concepts of ‘family’ and ‘gender’.


Jens Martin Scherpe is an Early Career Fellow at CRASSH, Lent 2012.

Dr Jens Martin Scherpe is a Senior Lecturer in Law.  He was awarded his PhD at the University of Hamburg in 2002.  He has been visiting Lecturer in Law at the Queen Mary University of London and the University of Auckland in New Zealand.  His publications include The Future of Family Property in Europe (Ed) Intersentia Publishing and Die Rechtsstellung nichtehelicher Lebensgemeinschaften – The Legal Status of Cohabitants (in German and English) Scherpe/Yassari (eds) 


His research interests include Comparative Law, Family Law, Law of Tort and Conflict of Laws.


Tel: +44 1223 766886