Party Autonomy Under the New Brussels IIa (Recast) Regulation: Stalemates and Innovation



The Brussels IIa (Recast) Regulation – the long-anticipated revision of the 2003 Brussels II bis Regulation – has brought about significant changes to the EU’s jurisdictional rules that apply to cross-border matrimonial matters (divorce and legal separation) and matters of parental responsibility. However, the role of party autonomy – in this context, the opportunity for parties to the proceedings to designate a closely-connected jurisdiction – continues to be a divisive matter under this renewed instrument. Whilst the pre-existing possibility for parties to participate in the determination of jurisdiction for matters of parental responsibility has been fine-tuned by this recast, the new instrument negates to include a much-needed choice of court provision for cross-border divorce and legal separation. This omission has wide-ranging consequences, both for the use of the instrument itself, as well as for the possibility of coordination with jurisdictions that govern related proceedings.


EU private international lawparty autonomychoice of courtBrussels IIa (Recast) RegulationBrussels II bis Regulationinternational family lawmatrimonial mattersdivorce and legal separationparental responsibility
  • Year: 2022
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 45–56
  • DOI: 10.36633/ulr.763
  • Published on 5 May 2022
  • Peer Reviewed