This article considers the role that ‘identity’ plays in family law, particularly in recent years. It develops two versions of that concept, one related to an individual’s personal characteristics (called here ‘individual identity’), the other to the individual’s identification with other individuals (‘communal identity’). The former is exemplified in the decision of the European Court of Human Rights concerning the right to establish whether or not a genetic relationship existed between the applicant and a deceased person, the latter in the decision of the German Constitutional Court in 2017 requiring that gender should no longer be recorded at birth only in the binary form. The implications of the former in the cases of gamete and mitochondrial donation, and of the latter regarding gender recognition, are explored, closing with a broader view of the conflict between communal identity and certain aspects of family law.
John Eekelaar, Family Law and Identity, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, https://doi.org/10.1093/ojls/gqy030. Published: 3 October 2018.