Legal pluralism in Europe and the ordre public exception: normative and judicial perspectives

International Workshop
16 aprile 2015
17 aprile 2015
16 and 17 April 2015

Venue: Room 20 (2nd Floor), Department of Sociology and Social Research, via Verdi 26 - Trento

The International Workshop draws its inspiration from the circumstance of several countries in Europe experiencing a growing number of cases in which individuals (mainly immigrants) claim to have a series of family and personal matters regulated by the law of their country of origin, under international private law.

In so far as this foreign law corresponds to – or is largely influenced by – Islamic law (or other religious law), domestic legal systems in Europe face the problem of reviewing the compatibility of such religiously inspired foreign law with domestic (and European) fundamental rights standards, mainly by applying the public policy (ordre public) exception which prevents the administrative application or the judicial enforcement of foreign law or foreign judicial or administrative decisions that are qualified as incompatible.

The International Workshop aims at considering the current attitude shown  by  the judiciary in legal systems strongly influenced by Islamic law as well as in some European states, while ultimately focusing  on whether a shared European ordre public exception in the field of family law is emerging in case law.


Thursday, April 16th 2015


Book presentation
Muslim Family Law in Western Countries” (Routledge 2014)
Edited by Elisa Giunchi

Chair: Cinzia Piciocchi, University of Trento


  • Cristiana Cianitto, University of Milan
  • Elena Ioriatti, University of Trento
  • Elena Valentina Zonca, University of Trieste
  • Elisa Giunchi, University of Milan

Friday, April 17th 2015

9.15-9.30 Welcome
  • Giuseppe Sciortino (Dean of the Sociology and Social Research Department – Trento University)

Legal Pluralism and Islamic Law

Chair: Davide Strazzari (University of Trento)

  • Elisa Giunchi (University of Milan)
    Lay Judges and Sacred Law: Family Law and Muslim Courts
  • Prakash Shah (School of Law at Queen’s Mary University, London)
    Catch Me if You Can! Muslim Translocal Legal Pluralism
11.00-11.15 Coffee Break
  • Fatna Sarehane (University of Casablanca)
    Traditional Islamic Law and State Codification: the Case of Morocco
  • Michel Karayanni (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)
    Tainted Liberalism: The Palestinian-Arab Millets in Israel



Judicial Enforcement of Islamic Law in European Countries: Towards an Emerging European Notion of Ordre Public Exception?

Chair: Roberto Toniatti

  • Gloria Esteban de la Rosa (University of Jaén)
    Ordre Public Exception, Recognition Method and Regulation 1259/2010: The Case of Spain and Other European Countries
  • Davide Strazzari (University of Trento and JPs)
    The Ordre Public Exception as a Means to Protecting Fundamental Rights? – The Case of France and Belgium
15.30-15.45 Coffee Break
  • Sara Tonolo (University of Trieste and JPS)
    European Public Policy and Religious Values in Conflict of Laws
  • Marta Tomasi (University of Trento)
    Special Focus
    Towards an Emerging Notion of Ordre Public Exception: a Comment on the Case-Law of the ECtHR on Surrogacy


  • Elena Valentina Zonca (University of Trieste)


Conclusive Remarks:

  • Rui Manuel Gens de Moura Ramos (University of Coimbra)

«Jurisdiction and Pluralisms» (JPs) is a research project  which aims at exploring the impact of the plurality of pluralisms on basic uniform features of the judicial organization and function. Legal pluralism in Europe and elsewhere is a specific area of interest of JPs and it provides the framework for the organization of this International Workshop.

Scientific coordination:

  • Prof. Roberto Toniatti, University of Trento, Faculty of Law
  • Dr. Davide Strazzari, University of Trento, Department of Sociology and Social Research

Participation is free of charge, but advance registration is appreciated (see the Registration form in the box download).


application/mswordRegistration form(DOC | 92 KB)