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EU Judiciary Training on Brussels IIa Regulation: From South to East.

From 2015 to 2017 the Law Institute of Lithuania (hereinafter – LIL) together with the partners from Italy, Spain and Croatia implemented the EU co-funded project “EU Judiciary Training on Brussels IIa Regulation: From South to East”.

Council of Europe Regulation No. 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003, concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, commonly known as Brussels IIa, is one of the most complex instruments on private international family law in the EU. It lays down rules for determining jurisdiction, recognizing and enforcing judgments which are applied across the EU. The application of these common rules and their interpretation, however, varies in EU countries. Having this in mind, the project aimed to evaluate and systemise the case law of selected EU countries, to reveal the main tendencies in the application of the Regulation Brussels IIa and to provide a practical guidance of how specific provisions are and should applied in national courts (e. g. what national criteria are applied by different countries in order to determine the person’s “habitual residence”).

On the basis of the research, training materials on application of the Regulation Brussels IIa in complex family law cases was prepared for judges and other lawyers. Particular attention was given to the issues of cross-border divorce and child abduction. Eight training events were organized in project countries (Italy, Spain, Croatia and Lithuania) in accordance with the prepared training material. Finally, a handbook was prepared and published by a prestigious international publisher.

Project partners of LIL in this project were University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy, project leader), University of Barcelona (Spain) and University of Rijeka (Croatia). As associated partners, the State Child Rights Projection and Adoption Service under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour as well as the National Courts Administration of Lithuania have also significantly contributed to the implementation of the project and its success.

The project was co-funded by the Justice Programme of the European Union, grant agreement No. JUST/2014/JTRA/AG/EJTR/6854.

Project duration: 1 October 2015 – 30 September 2017.

Throughout the project the following scientific and other materials were prepared (only publications in which researchers of the LIL took part are listed):

Honorati (ed.), “Jurisdiction in Matrimonial Matters, Parental Responsibility and International Abduction”, published by a prestigious international publisher Giappichelli / Peter Lang;

Limantė, scientific article “Establishing habitual residence of adults under the Brussels IIa regulation: best practices from national case-law”, published in the law journal “Journal of Private International Law” and available in English;

Kavoliūnaitė-Ragauskienė and A. Limantė, scientific study “Review of the Regulation Brussels II a: suggested amendments and their effect upon the legal system of Lithuania”, published by Law Institute of Lithuania and available in Lithuanian;

Limantė, article “The Supreme Court of Lithuania rules on habitual residence and conditions for prorogation” accessible in the project website and available in English;

Nekrošius and K. Pranevičienė, scientific article “Citizenship as the criterion justifying jurisdiction in divorce cases under the EU law”, published in the journal “Teisės problemos” and available in Lithuanian;

Limantė and A. Račkauskaitė-Burneikienė, scientific article “Hearing of the child in family law cases”, published in the journal “Teisė” and available in Lithuanian;

Brussels IIa Regulation Handbook: training materials” available in Lithuanian (accessible upon the request to the LIL);

Brussels IIa Regulation Handbook” available in Lithuanian.