This collection discusses how official legal systems do and should respond to the reality of a plurality of family types and origins within their jurisdictions. It further examines the challenges that arise for practitioners, including lawyers and judges, when faced with such plurality. Focussing on empirical research, the volume presents legal and sociological data of unprecedented comparative depth. It also includes a discussion of how members of minority families respond to the need to organise their legal relationships, and to resolve their disputes in the shadow of official legal systems which differ from those of their familial and communal traditions. The work invites reflection, and demonstrates the urgency and complexity of the questions regarding the search for justice in the field of family life in Europe today.
’In twenty-first century Europe, the recognition and fair treatment of diversity in law is central to realising justice yet remains a daunting challenge for legal systems. This impressive collection does not claim to offer a comprehensive solution but persuasively shows how the best approaches combine knowledge, openness and sensitivity with a firm grasp of principle.’ Helena Wray, Middlesex University, UK ’Each chapter of this book is an intelligent and sensitive reminder of the principle according to which justice is not equality but treating differently what is different.’ Carlos GÃ³mez MartÃnez, President of the Court of Appeal of the Balearic Islands and Former Director of the Spanish Judicial School ’ …offers a most timely, rich and much needed body of comparative work which presents discerning insights into the challenges of legal pluralism and the ways in which cultural and religious minorities in a range of European contexts navigate the legal system. This book fills a critical gap in current research, offering lawyers, academics, judges, parliamentarians and many others, unique and critical insights into the key questions they ought to be asking.’ Puja Kapai, University of Hong Kong ’The book’s combination of theoretical chapters and case studies, Europe-wide analysis and jurisdiction (or religion) specific studies makes it a useful resource. Those wishing to get an overview of the current state of the interaction of family, religion and law across Europe will find value in the breadth of topics covered by the book. Those seeking to explore any of the topics covered by specific chapters would also find much to admire in the book.’ Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law