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In the domestic context this court has the advantage, denied to the trial judge, of the recent decision of the Privy Council in Mac Leod v Mac Leod  1 All ER 851 which, although deciding issues arising under a contract executed by the parties shortly before their separation and divorce, also considered in passing the current legal status of ante-nuptial contracts that provide for the financial consequences of a possible future divorce. I prefer to consider first the European context, which was unnecessary for the Privy Council to consider in Mac Leod, and which was not expressly considered by the Judge below.I do so because this appeal, to whose facts I will refer later, involves the marriage of a French citizen and a German citizen celebrated in both London and Switzerland.I record this detail only to illustrate how difficult it will be to devise a solution that will deliver uniformity of outcome throughout the member states of Europe.Prior to the advent of the Brussels II regulations we overcame the problem by applying the doctrine of forum conveniens: See  AC 92.An aim of the European Union is to provide for its citizens both mobility and a common area of justice.European law did not much affect families prior to 1st March 2003.
The European Commission intends to convene a meeting of experts in Brussels on 28th September next.10.Before then there were only the provisions Brussels I relating to maintenance.The commencement date of 1st March 2003 given to Regulation Brussels II introduced jurisdictional rules for divorce and parental responsibilities respecting children of married parents throughout all but one of the then fourteen member states.4.The ambition of the European Commission was to design a regulation Brussels III which would meet the problems created by diverse national laws and traditions.To that end a Green Paper was published in July 2006 inviting responses from member states by 30th November 2006.
FD06D05479Royal Courts of Justice Strand, London, WC2A 2LLDate: 02/07/2009Before : LORD JUSTICE THORPELORD JUSTICE RIX and LORD JUSTICE WILSON- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Between : KATRIN RADMACHER (formerly GRANATINO) (Appellant)- and -NICOLAS JOSEPH JEAN GRANATINO (Respondent)- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Mr Richard Todd QC and Mr Geoffrey Kingscote (instructed by Ayesha Vardag) appeared for the Appellant wife.