Family law will be hit hard by Brexit, says Faculty

22 Aug


FAMILY law in Scotland will become less certain and probably more expensive after Brexit, the Faculty believes.

Replying to questions posed by the Scottish Government, the Faculty said that current provisions in family law depended on reciprocity, which would be lost when the UK left the European Union.

“In consequence it is one of those areas where European Union law cannot be transposed wholesale into domestic law and in which further action to deal with the consequences of the lack of reciprocity will be required,” stated the Faculty’s response.

“Further, it is our view that Scotland cannot simply fall back on earlier measures…There will require to be fresh consideration of a modern Scottish approach to international private law in this area.”

Some commentators had suggested that Brexit would make the law simpler, but the Faculty “fundamentally disagreed”, and added: “The EU regulations have focussed on reciprocity and certainty. Removal of the regulations makes the law less certain and is likely to increase the cost of litigation. This needs to be factored into the provision of both the court service and legal aid.”

The Faculty welcomed an anticipated transitional period, under which current EU family law instruments would continue until the end of 2020.

“There would be substantial benefits to retaining this regime in the longer term,” it added.