The 2019 International Survey of Family Law again contains contributions from all inhabited continents, from both junior and established scholars, from industrialized and third world countries. Despite the tendencies toward pluralism, several themes seem to emerge, though not all of the 21 contributions involve one of these themes.
The first theme is the issue of pluralism itself, whether because a former colonial power is now ceding authority to a country with its own traditions or whether the state has both civil and customary law involving families. These issues characterize the contributions from the Faroe Islands, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.
A second theme involves various nations’ attempts to deal with domestic violence, sometimes in cases involving shared parenting. Various contrasting solutions on these matters are presented by authors of the contributions from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Seychelles.
The contributions on Ireland and Hong Kong focus on the third strand, which concerns the problems of more traditional societies (at least in family law) now dealing with contemporary family law issues.
Finally, some contributions discuss the issues relating to assisted reproductive technology and the related issues of LGBT identity. This concern characterizes the contributions from Korea, Serbia and the United States.
My profound thanks go to Dominique Goubau and Christine Bidaud-Garon for their invaluable work in translating (and sometimes helping create) French abstracts for each chapter. The abstracts make the survey more accessible to Francophone countries around the world. Translating becomes still more of an art when the legal language is taken out of context, as it frequently is in these summations.
For those desiring to learn more about the Society, its goals and history, or how to join the Society, the place to look is the ISFL website, www.isflhome.org.