Articles Developments in PIL

Corneloup and Verhellen on Providing Legal Identity for All

Sabine Corneloup (Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas) and Jinske Verhellen (Ghent University) have recently posted on SSRN an article titled Providing legal identity for all – A means to empower migrants to exercise their rights, which forms part of the volume SDG 2030 and Private International Law edited by R. Michaels, V. Ruiz Abou-Nigm and H. van Loon to be published by Intersentia. The volume will be an outcome of the project The Private Side of Transforming our World UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and the Role of Private International Law. The project, as underlined by its leaders, “aims to raise an awareness of how PIL – with its methods and institutions – is also capable of making a significant contribution in the quest for sustainable development” as defined in UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030. The resulting findings will also be presented in the framework of a conference to be held on 9 to 11 September 2021 at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg.

The abstract of the article reads as follows:

This paper focusses on Target 16.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which states: “By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.” It is a tentative attempt to explore the reciprocal influences between private international law and SDG Target 16.9.

In chapter 1, Target 16.9 will first be presented in itself, before being analyzed in the context of SDG 16 as a whole, as well as in the context of global migration, which also brings other SDGs into the picture and highlights the link to private international law.

The purpose of chapter 2 is twofold: on the one hand, it is to give an overview of existing PIL instruments and methodologies concerning legal identity on a global, regional and national level and, on the other hand, to assess their relevance in a migration context. A survey of the international conventions and EU regulations on private international law will reveal that none of the existing instruments plays a prominent role, if any, in a migration context. Indeed, even though some international conventions and EU regulations contain potentially interesting provisions, none of them has proven relevant, if migration issues such as access to asylum, to a residence permit or to nationality are at stake. At the national level, private international law comes into play in the context of migration, when legal identity is addressed from the perspective of States of destination or States of transit, because then a cross-border element arises.

Chapter 3 takes a different perspective and looks at legal identity issues from the angle of an evolving new global framework according to the SDGs, emphasizing human rights. The question then arises whether this global SDG perspective could improve the situation in the States of origin by promoting and implementing birth registration and consequently impact on legal identity matters in PIL and whether, in its turn, a ‘revitalized’ PIL holds potential to contribute to the further development of the new global framework according to SDG 16.9.

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