Training of lawyers on EU instruments on insolvency law and family law (CiviLAW)

Context

In a borderless European Union (EU), cross-border personal relations and business transactions are very common. But, whereas national disputes can be resolved in a common language and before national courts, cross-border situations add some complexity. For this reason, the EU has enacted important legislation in the field of insolvency law and family law, which helps companies and citizens across the EU by providing legal certainty and tools. Such tools overcome the challenges inherent in the cross-border nature of these disputes, and help to make the EU a real area of opportunities. Having legal professionals properly trained in these legal instruments is essential to guarantee that EU citizens’ and businesses’ rights and obligations can be exercised and fulfilled.

Needs assessment

According to the European Commission, 200.000 firms go bankrupt in the EU every year, which is translated into 1,7 million people losing their jobs. Likewise, the EC estimates that, every year, some 140.000 couples seek to split from a partner with a different EU nationality and 230.000 children are born every year to international couples within the EU. In many of these cases, lawyers are contacted to provide advice on both insolvency law and family law issues. That explains the need to have lawyers properly trained in EU legal instruments in these two areas of law.

Objectives

The overall objective is to train 630 lawyers from 7 EU Member States (Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Romania, Poland, Greece and the Czech Republic) on the following EU legal instruments in insolvency law and family law.

A) Insolvency law:

  • Regulation (EU) 848/2015 of the European Parliament and of the Council on insolvency proceedings (recast)
  • Directive (EU) 2019/1023 of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventive restructuring frameworks, on discharge of debt and disqualifications, and on measures to increase the efficiency of procedures concerning restructuring, insolvency and discharge of debt, and amending Directive (EU) 2017/1132 (Directive on restructuring and insolvency)

B) Family law:

  • Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgements in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility (Brussels IIa Regulation)
  • Recast of Brussels II a Regulation, ie: Regulation (EU) 2019/1111 on jurisdiction, the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, and on international child abduction
  • Council Regulations 2016/1103 and 2016/1104 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions

Activities

  • Organisation of 21 fully cross-border seminars (10 seminars on insolvency law and 11 seminars on family law) in each of the 7 partner Member States to train 630 lawyers
  • Production of ready-to-use training material from the seminars, which will be freely and publicly available on the ELF’s website, which can then be used for self-learning
  • Promotion the informal networks of those lawyers participating in the seminars (civil lawyers practising insolvency law and family law) from 7 EU Member States

Methodology

The organisation of seminars is the best possible way to ensure two of the main aspects of this project: high-level training for lawyers, and the opportunity to use the seminars for networking purposes. The seminars will last one day and there will be participants from all the seven partners’ Member States in each seminar. All the seminars in each of the two topics (ie: insolvency law and family law) will be identical in their structure (same seminar programme) and duration (1 days). The big cross-border element and the need to create informal networks of civil lawyers in who are able to communicate with each other make it necessary to hold the seminars in English.

This project is financed with the support of the Justice Programme of the European Union.