Core Module (10 ECTS)


This course aims to discuss some major issues in the field of family law from an international perspective that exceeds the borders of national law. In particular,  the role of the European Court of Human Rights case law in this field shall be explored with emphasis to the common understandings across the European Convention on Human Rights member states about the various institutions of family and the function of the family. The national legal frameworks on the matter shall also be approached from a comparative viewpoint.


Upon completion of the course, the students will be able to

  • understand and use main concepts of family law from an international and comparative legal perspective
  • analyze and critically assess a judicial opinion in the field of family law from an international and comparative legal perspective
  • understand the role of the comparative approach within the borders of the member states of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • understand the approach of the ECHR on many modern issues of family law.


The course shall emphasize on practical questions and implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights on issues of family law. The legal approach of national courts shall also be studied where appropriate. Therefore, the course shall focus on the analysis and critical assessment of judicial opinions, mainly of the ECHR and also of national courts. Following topics shall, indicatively, be discussed:

Parental Responsibility

Right to access child

Legal v. biological truth & tradition

Rights of child out of wedlock

Prenatal diagnostic error: “Wrongful birth”, “Wrongful life”

IVF, Gestational surrogacy


Recognition and legal effects of non-formalised cohabitation relationships

Recognition of same-sex relationships

Rights of homosexuals

Legal gender recognition

Academic Requirements

Participants are required to have some previous knowledge of Family Law.

Teaching method

The course will run under seminar format, which requires a high degree of student activity. Materials shall be distributed in electronic form. Students are expected to have studied each session’s material before class and to actively participate during class.


The course is taught by Associate Professor George Lekkas and Associate Professor George Georgiades.

Assessment and testing

  • Written exam, open book, 2 hours (80%)
  • Mid-term essay assignment (20%)