Coman/Hamilton: Redefining Marriage or the Return of ‘Status’?
This presentation will review the landmark case of Coman et al. which is pending in front of the European Court of Justice. The question referred to the ECJ by the Romanian Constitutional Court in Coman is whether the term ‘spouse’ in Article 2(2) of Directive 2004/38 must be interpreted to include the same-sex partner of a EU Citizen. In the presentation, I will provide an overview of pertinent EU primary and secondary legislation and I will argue that failure to recognise the benefits and effects of a same-sex partnership legally celebrated abroad would constitute a violation of fundamental rights of EU citizens. However, I will also point out is that the debate surrounding the case is troubling in the sense that the opinion of experts and advocates seems to be converging on the classical notion that marriage equals an exceptional ‘status’ and that it is failure to recognise this ‘status’ that would violate fundamental rights of EU citizens.
PhD Student at European University Institute
Visiting Student at Sciences Po Law School
Alberto won a PhD scholarship at the EUI in 2012. He is currently researching the relationship between the evolution of the nation-state, models of private international law of the family, and the protection of normative diversity and equality in the European context. His research interests include EU law, international family law, comparative law, legal pluralism, multiculturalism and migration law. Alberto holds a First-Class Honours BA in Languages, Culture and Institutions of Eurasia obtained by Cà Foscari, University of Venice in 2009. In December 2011, he completed with First-Class Honours an MA in International Comparative Legal Studies at SOAS, University of London. While at SOAS, he also taught the LLB course on the ‘Legal Systems of Asia and Africa’ and in the LLM course on ‘International Law and Global Orders’. In 2013 Alberto was awarded an LLM in Comparative, European and International Laws by the EUI. Previously, Alberto was post-graduate Research Assistant in RELIGARE, an FP7 project on religious diversity and innovative approaches to law and policy in Europe. His research interests also widened out of formative experiences at the Centre for Ethnic Minority Studies (School of Oriental and African Studies) and the Centre for Culture and Law (Queen Mary) in London. Between March and August 2015 he worked for the European Commission in Unit C2 ‘free movement and citizenship’ of the Directorate General for Justice and Consumers.
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