The researchers associated with UCERF carry out the new research programme of 2019: ‘Families & law in a changing world’.
Families, children and individuals: the law of persons and family law at a national level determine, within the boundaries of international and European law, who is a child of which adult and who qualify as partners. Family law also provides for the protection of family life and private life. Attribution of aspects of personal status (name, gender, etc.) and recognition of families have a profound impact on people’s legal status; not only in family law, but also in other fields of law including social security law, nationality law, tax law, contract & tort law, and criminal law. That is because other fields of law generally base the legal status of an individual as partner, parent, child or other relative on the family law system. The legal position of people is therefore determined by family law and other fields of law. That is one of the reasons why we focus our research around families & law, which is much broader than family law by itself.
How should states balance legal autonomy and protection regarding families, children and individuals in a globalized and changing world?
The research programme concerns the interaction of autonomy and protection in the light of regulation of families and individuals from an intradisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspective. What new legal and social vulnerabilities do families, children and individuals experience in a changing world, given the increased diversity, transnational mobility, individualization and responsibilisation? Clearly, this not only asks for a legal perspective, but a broader outlook, provided by other disciplines to provide input for existing problems, phenomena and understanding people’s behaviour.