Présentation – Legal Recognition of Non-Conjugal Families: New Frontiers in Family Law in the US, Canada and Europe (20.05.2021, en ligne)

Legal Recognition of Non-Conjugal Families: New Frontiers in Family Law in the US, Canada and Europe, by Nausica Palazzo

Thursday 20th May 2021, 17:00 (CEST), on ZOOM

The Queer and Feminist Studies Working Group is delighted to announce the presentation of the monograph Legal Recognition of Non-Conjugal Families: New Frontiers in Family Law in the US, Canada and Europe by Nausica Palazzo (Hart Publishing). The presentation will include a roundtable discussion with Mariano Croce, Thomas McMorrow and Sylvie Taylor Armstrong.

This book argues that insufficient recognition of new families is a legal problem that needs fixing in light of recent evolutions in family patterns and normative conceptions of ‘family’. People increasingly invest in relationships falling outside the model of the marital family, such as non-conjugal unions of friends or relatives, polyamorous relationships and various religious-based families. Despite this, Western jurisdictions retain the marital family as the relevant basis for allocating family law benefits, rights and obligations.

Part I of the book illustrates recent evolutions in family patterns and norms, and explores how law can accommodate multiple family grids without legal recognition involving normalisation. Part II focuses on courtroom litigation on the basis that courts nowadays are central avenues of social change. It takes non-conjugal families as a case study and provides an analysis of the most compelling argumentative strategies that non-conjugal families can mobilise to pursue legal recognition in Canada and the United States, and within the systems of the European Convention of Human Rights and the European Union.

Through its comparative, interdisciplinary and critical legal method, the book provides scholars, activists and policymakers with conceptual tools to tackle the current invisibility of new families. Further, by advancing legal arguments to enhance the protection of non-conjugal families in courtrooms, the book illuminates the different approaches jurisdictions are likely to take and the hindrances thereof to overcome and debunk stereotypes associated with proper familyhood.

Dr Nausica Palazzo is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Law, and Adjunct Lecturer in Public Law at Bocconi University, Milan. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Constitutional Law from the University of Trento, Italy. 

Her book will be discussed by Prof. Mariano Croce, who is Associate Professor of Political Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy of Sapienza, Rome; Dr Thomas McMorrow, Associate Professor of Legal Studies and program director of Liberal Studies at Ontario Tech University; and Sylvie Taylor Armstrong, Ph.D. candidate from the Law Department of the EUI.

This discussion will be moderated by Sophia Ayada (EUI, Law).

Please contact Sophia Ayada ( to receive the ZOOM link

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