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I cross the border and carry with me… Cross-border civil status: a private international law issue from a human rights perspective

Supervisor: Prof. dr. Jinske Verhellen
Researcher: Sarah Den Haese

The increasing mobility of people leads to the worldwide circulation of documents that record the civil status of people (e.g. birth, marriage, death). The recognition of these documents traditionally belongs to the field of private international law which aspires cross-border harmony and continuity in the life of people. A noble objective, yet hard to put in practice. As a result, some people carry a different civil status (e.g. unmarried) in their host country in comparison with the status in their country of origin (e.g. married). Such discrepancies – also called limping legal relations – generate legal uncertainty and unpredictability. This research aims to study a new approach to cross-border civil status. Departing from the right to respect for private and family life, the research will examine whether and to what extent the human rights approach is able to reduce the negative effects of limping legal relations (increasing the cross-border portability of a certain civil status).


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