On February 6, 2024, Professor Frédérique Ferrand, Professor at University Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Director of the Edouard Lambert Institute of Comparative Law, and Honorary Professor at the University of Augsburg, Germany, presented on Evolutions in European Family Law: Towards a Common Core, at the LSU Law Center. This was the 43rd John H. Tucker, Jr. Lecture in Civil Law, organized by the Center of Civil Law Studies of the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
Dean Alena Allen opened the event, reminding the audience of Colonel Tucker’s influence on the evolution of the Civil Law of Louisiana. Professor Olivier Moréteau introduced the speaker, pointing to her vast scholarship in comparative civil procedure and family law, and her prominent role in worldwide harmonization of civil procedure and European harmonization of family Law.
In a well-structured and splendidly delivered lecture, Professor Ferrand presented on the current trends in European family law, including recent cooperation on family matters within the European Union and the emerging trend of harmonizing national European family laws on matters like jurisdiction and choice-of-law for divorce, while continuing different national approaches to certain sensitive issues.
One issue that the European countries continues to take separate approaches on is surrogacy and the rules on the transfer of parenthood. Because each individual member state has its own rules on family law matters, the European Union has a limited role when it comes to such matters.
A lively discussion followed, with questions from scholars and from the many family law students who attended the Lecture. Students tried to better grasp the reasons why leading European jurisdictions oppose surrogacy, considering it contrary to public policy, while showing great tolerance towards same-sex unions and pluralistic models of family arrangements.