Gerichtliche Spezialisierung für Familiensachen
Volume 81 (2017) / Issue 3, pp. 510-538 (29)
20,30 € including VAT
In many jurisdictions, matters of family law are dealt with by specialized family courts. After outlining the different approaches from a comparative perspective (section I.), the article argues that a specialization in the area of family law is desirable. Family matters are not only self-contained from a substantive as well as procedural law perspective and clearly distinguishable from civil and commercial matters, but they are also characterised by a considerable degree of complexity which justifies judicial specialization (section II.). Furthermore, the dangers connected with specialized courts do not materialise in this area of law (section III.). However, a sensible specialization in family matters requires certain conditions as to the organisational structure and staffing of the competent courts (sections IV.1. and IV.3.). These conditions depend upon the role substantive family law assigns to courts. The paper argues that modern family law has abandoned its therapeutic attitude – family law matters are no longer regarded as a potential indication of pathologic families – therefore necessitating a legally oriented and conflict-solving judge rather than a court with a »therapeutic atmosphere«. Moreover, the jurisdiction of family courts has to be defined carefully – for example, regarding the question of whether matters of juvenile delinquency and succession matters are to be handled by family courts (section IV.2.). Finally, the paper alludes to a tendency to remove family matters from courts by shifting them to extra-judicial institutions or even to the parties and their party autonomy (section V.).