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Resolution and IAFL respond to EU referendum result

Speaking following the EU referendum result, Resolution Chair Nigel Shepherd said:

"It's too early to know the full implications for family law, but what is clear is that we are entering a period of great uncertainty. Like most areas of legislation, family law in the UK is currently intrinsically linked to that in other jurisdictions.

"We won't know yet what withdrawal from the EU will mean for measures like Brussels IIa, which provides for uniform jurisdictional rules for divorce proceedings; or maintenance arrangements, which are currently regulated throughout the European Union. It's unlikely that the implications for family law will be a priority for the government, and it's a distinct possibility that any currently planned or envisaged reforms to family law will be put on hold.

"There are also wider issues not directly related to family law. Should a short-term impact on the financial markets turn into a longer-term economic issue then it will affect people's personal finances – things like pensions, investments and house values. These will all need to be taken into consideration when dealing with financial matters upon divorce.

"Resolution will continue our work with government and others to both influence the future of family justice, and provide our members with the support, information and resources they need in order to deal with the post-referendum landscape."

William Longrigg, President of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, said:

"The Academy has built up extensive international and European family law contacts over very many years and the co-operation which has been fostered will be immensely valuable as we work out what will be the consequences of the EU referendum result. That collaboration will continue.

"There are, of course, European instruments regulating aspects of family law which have proved extremely beneficial and others perhaps less so. We don't know yet whether there will be equivalent instruments or whether it will be necessary to work out some other sorts of treaty. At the moment we are coming to terms with the result of the referendum and cannot predict future developments with any certainty.

"Most importantly, the Academy is resolved to continue striving to achieve what is best for family law and for families."

24/6/16 (amended)