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The Oxford History of the Laws of EnglandVolume XIII: 1820–1914 Fields of Development$
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William Cornish, J Stuart Anderson, Ray Cocks, Michael Lobban, Patrick Polden, and Keith Smith

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199239757

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199239757.001.0001

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Foreign Elements in Family Disputes

Foreign Elements in Family Disputes

(p.835) VII Foreign Elements in Family Disputes
The Oxford History of the Laws of England

William Cornish

Oxford University Press

The pragmatic, utilitarian thrust of English private international law in the 19th century meant an absence of commitment either to territory or to person as the presumptive organizing idea of the whole field. Comity embodied notions of mutual respect between legal systems. This at least suggested a certain preference for applying the same law to the solution of a legal issue, and for recognizing the decisions of foreign courts, particularly where they were following a parallel course to that on which an English court would take jurisdiction over a dispute with a foreign element and were applying the law that an English court would also apply. Nonetheless the combinations of foreign and local elements could weave patterns too various to provide ready-made solutions. Nowhere was that more evident than in respect of family matters. In this sphere one can observe some growing readiness to accord some place to foreign laws and the decisions of foreign courts. This chapter on foreign elements in family disputes covers the issues of domicil, marriage and divorce, and family governance.

Keywords:   English law, family law, international law, family relationships, domicil, marriage, divorce, family governance

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