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Features - International Family Law: A Selective Resource Guide

By Marylin J. Raisch, Published on August 15, 2000

Marylin Johnson Raisch is the Librarian for International and Foreign Law at the Bora Laskin Law Library of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. She received her J.D. from Tulane University School of Law (1980) with work both in civil and common law courses as well as international law and Roman law. She holds degrees in English literature from Smith College (B.A. magna cum laude, 1973) and St. Hugh's College, Oxford (M.Litt., 1978). She received her M.L.S. degree from Columbia University School of Library Service in 1988 and has worked as a law librarian for fifteen years, the past ten of which were at Columbia University School of Law as International and Foreign Law Librarian. Marylin has served as moderator or panelist in several continuing education programs at the annual meetings of the American Association of Law Libraries on such topics as effective quick reference in international and foreign law, foreign law in English, and Russian law. She has also presented talks on web access to foreign and international materials for the International Association of Law Libraries, has co-directed one of a series of special four-day institutes on "Training the Next Generation" of international and foreign law librarians, and has edited (with Roberta I. Shaffer) the resulting volume of proceedings, Transnational Legal Transactions (Oceana, 1995). Marylin is the author of several articles, reviews, and web guides on international and foreign legal research, such as The European Union: A Selective Research Guide, 1 Columbia Journal of European Law 149 (1994/95), and hyperlinked web guides to research in treaties and public international law, European Union law, and human rights law at http://www.law-lib.utoronto.ca/resguide/entry.htm.

Editor's note (SP):  This updated version of Marylin's guide includes additional resources, changes for some Web site addresses, as well as some deletions. These additions and changes are indicated by (yellow background color) for easy identification.


Table of Contents

  1. General Sources: History & Scope; Background Guides
  2. Marriage and Divorce
  3. Family Maintenance and Support
  4. Child Custody and Abduction
  5. Inter-Country Adoption
  6. Convention on the Rights of the Child
  7. Supervision of Adults
  8. Note on Secondary Sources

The purpose of this guide is to provide researchers with a selective quick guide to basic and significant materials, both print and electronic, in the area of international family law. As a hyperlinked, contextual guide, it is not intended as a substitute for the compilation of any updated, comprehensive bibliography by using electronic indexes and catalogues and their print equivalents (for older and historic materials). For official and unofficial print and non-print sources of treaty texts, finding aids and interpretive tools, this guide is intended to incorporate sources cited in Raisch, Marylin J., Guide I: Treaties and Other Sources of International Law. For additional European Union and international human rights materials, also see the companion guides by this author, Guide II: The European Union, and Guide III: International Protection of Human Rights.

I. General Sources: History and Scope; Background Guides

This guide will include areas in which major international agreements operate and will exclude private law questions of succession of property, public law issues of culture and race per se, and refugee and migrant status questions except as these pertain specifically to the status of children.

Family law has traditionally been an area of private law governed by rules local to a given jurisdiction and not cognizable as a subject for international agreement. In recent years, however, principally through the United Nations and the Hague Conference on Private International Law, a movement to harmonize some aspects of family law across national regimes and to avoid the harmful human consequences of conflicts of law in this area has resulted in several major international instruments.

A. Web Sites, Major Documents and Treaties

B. Major Treatises and General Periodicals

  • Bainham, Andrew, ed. The International Survey of Family Law 2001 Edition. Bristol: Jordan, 2001.
  • Belembaogo, Akila. The family in international and regional human rights instruments. New York: United Nations, 1999.
  • Blanpain. R., ed. Family and succession law, International Encyclopedia of Laws. The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1997.
  • Bucher, Andreas. La famille en droit international privé, 283 Recueil des Cours pp. 9-186 (2000).
  • Eekelaar, John and Thandabantu Nhlapo, eds. The changing family: international perspectives on the family and family law. Oxford, England: Hart Publishing, 1998.
  • ____________ and Peter Sarcevic, eds. Parenthood in modern society: legal and social issues for the twenty-first century. Dordrecht; Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 1993.
  • International family law. Bristol: Jordan, 1998-.
  • (periodical)
  • International journal of law and the family. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987-1995.
  • International journal of law, policy and the family. Oxford Oxford University Press, 1996-.
  • Kleijkamp, Gerda A.Family life and family interests: a comparative study of the influence of the European Convention of Human Rights on Dutch family law and the influence of the United States Constitution on American family law. The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 1999.
  • Lowe, Nigel and Gillian Douglas, eds. Families across frontiers. The Hague; Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1996.
  • Rosenblatt, Jeremy. International conventions affecting children. The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law International, 2000.
  • World Law Conference (1st: 1996, Brussels, Belgium). Law in motion: recent developments in civil procedure, constitutional, contract, criminal, environmental, family and succession [emphasis mine], intellectual property, medical, social security, transport law. Boston: Kluwer International, 1997.
  •     Substantial Articles and Chapters: Dyer, Adair. "The Internationalization of Family Law," 30 U.C.Davis L. Rev. 625 (1997).

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II. Marriage and Divorce (includes same-sex partnerships)

A. Web Sites, Major documents and Treaties

B. Major Treatises

  • Bunting, Annie. Particularity of rights, diversity of contexts : women, international human rights and the case of early marriage. Thesis, JSD, University of Toronto,1999.
  • El Alami, Dawoud Sudqi and Doreen Hinchcliffe. Islamic marriage and divorce laws of the Arab world. London [England]: Published for CIMEL by Kluwer Law International, 1996.
  • Steyger, Elies. National traditions and European Community law: margarine and marriage. Aldershot; Brookfield, USA : Dartmouth, 1997.

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III. Family Maintenance and Support

A. Web Sites, Major documents and Treaties

B. Major Treatises

  • Meulders-Klein , M.T. and J. Eekelaar. Famille, etat et securite economique d'existence = Family, state and individual economic security. Bruxelles: Story Scientia; [S.l.]: Kluwer Law and Taxation, 1988.
  • DeHart, Gloria F. International enforcement of child support and custody: reciprocity and other strategies. Chicago, Ill. : Section of Family Law, American Bar Association, 1986.
  • Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act: report (to accompany S. 922). Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O.; 1994.

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IV. Child Custody and Abduction

A. Web Sites, Major documents and Treaties

B. Major Treatises

  • Beaumont, P. R. The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Doek, Jaap and Hans van Loon, eds. Children on the move: how to implement their right to family life. The Hague; Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 1996.
  • American Bar Association. International child abductions: a guide to applying the Hague Convention, with forms. 2nd ed. Chicago, Ill.: The Association, 1993.
  • _____________________. North American Symposium on International Child Abduction (1993 : Washington, D.C.) How to handle international child abduction cases. [Washington, D.C.]: American Bar Association, 1993.
  • Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. International child abduction: issues for reform : fourth report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Ottawa]: The Committee, 1998.
  • Substantial chapters and articles:
    Silberman, Linda. "The Hague Children's Conventions: The Internationalization of Child Law," (Hague Academy Lectures, summer 1999, to appear in Recueil des Cours).
    ________________. "The Hague Child Abduction Convention turns Twenty: Gender Politics and Other Issues," 33 N.Y.U. J. Intl. L. & Politics 221 (2000).
     

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V. Inter-Country Adoption

A. Web Sites, Major documents and Treaties

B. Major Treatises

  • International Social Service, Geneva. Internal and intercountry adoption laws. The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1996- (looseleaf).
  • Rosenblatt, Jeremy. International adoption. London [England]: Sweet & Maxwell, 1995.
  • O'Connor, J. P. The international adoption guide: how to legally adopt a child in over 80 countries. London : Chancellor Publications, 1994.

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VI. Convention on the Rights of the Child

A. Web Sites, Major documents and Treaties

B. Major Treatises

  • Angel, William D., ed. The international law of youth rights, source documents and commentary. Dordrecht ; Boston: M. Nijhoff, 1995.
  • Detrick, Sharon. A children's rights glossary: based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child; a companion volume to the International children's rights thesaurus. Florence, Italy: UNICEF, 2000.
  • Council of Europe. The rights of the child: A European perspective. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing, 1996.
  • Detrick, Sharon. A commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Hague; Boston: Martinus Nijhoff , 1999.
  • _____________, ed. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: a guide to the Travaux preparatoires." Dordrecht; Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 1992.
  • Fottrell, Deirdre, ed. Revisiting children's rights: 10 years of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Hague; Boston: Kluwer Law, International, 2000.
  • Freeman, Michael, ed. Children's rights: a comparative perspective. Issues in law and society. Aldershot [England]: Dartmouth, 1996
  • Freestone, David, ed. Children and the law: essays in honour of Professor H.K. Bevan. [Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989]. [Hull]: Hull University Press, 1990.
  • Himes, James R. Implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child: resource mobilization in low-income countries. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1995.
  • Hodgkin , Rachel and Peter Newell for UNICEF. Implementation handbook for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. New York, Y: UNICEF, 1998.
  • Holmstrom, Leif, ed. Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Vol 1. Raoul Wallenberg Institute Series of Intergovernmental Human Rights Documentation. [The Hague; Boston]: Martinus Nijhoff, 1999.
  • Kaufman, Natalie Hevene and Arlene Bowers Andrews. Implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: a standard of living adequate for development. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1999.
  • Kilkelly, Ursula. The child and the European convention on human rights. Programme on International Rights of the Child, series. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate/Dartmouth, 1999.
  • Saulle, Maria Rita and Flaminia Kojanec, eds. The rights of the child: international instruments. Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: Transnational Publishers, Inc., 1995.
  • Van Bueren, Geraldine, ed. International Documents on Children. 2nd rev. ed. The Hague ; Boston : M. Nijhoff , 1998.
  • Verhellen, Eugeen, ed. Monitoring children's rights. The Hague; Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 1996.
  • Yolles, Vanessa. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: a practical guide to its use in Canadian courts. Toronto: UNICEF Canada, 1998.
  • For employment issues regarding child labour, youth, and minimum age, see list of ILO conventions.

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VII. Supervision of Adults

A. Web Sites, Major documents and Treaties

B. Major Treatises

  • Jones, Melinda and Lee Ann Basser Marks, eds. Disability, divers-ability, and legal change. The Hague ; Boston : M. Nijhoff Publishers, 1998.
  • UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Legislation on equal opportunities and full participation in development for disabled persons: examples from the ESCAP region. New York: United Nations, 1997.
  • Quinn, G. Disability discrimination law in the United States, Australia, and Canada. Dublin: Oak Tree Press in association with the National Rehabilitation Board, 1993.

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VIII. Note on secondary Sources

This guide presumes knowledge of, or familiarity with, legal periodical indexes and incorporates references to more specialized indexes in the three guides cited in the first paragraph of this presentation. Lexis, QL, and Westlaw materials are similarly referenced as potential sources using topical and Boolean search approached within those fee-based systems, as appropriate. However, of particular interest for web-based searching may be the following free web sites, particularly for staying abreast of developments in international criminal law:

  • Big Ear: Current Legal Resources on the Net lists new site reported in listservs, and the Scout Report for the Social Sciences lists and evaluates new sites for substantial research.
  • JSTOR indexes and provides full text access to the American Journal of International Law and several other publications.
  • RAVE, a site at the university at Duesseldorf, Germany, produces a bibliography of Public International Law and European Law articles and links to full text where possible.
  • The “Virtual Institute” of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg provides a kind of online encyclopedia of public international law similar to the print counterpart.

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