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Succession Law: Challenges and Potential regarding regulating the Transfer of Property on Death in changing Society

Prosjektet er is about the interplay between societal developement and hairship.

Project summary

Contemporary succession law is facing challenges that arise as societal development partly connected with the increased diversification of value-orientation in the population, partly with the increase in cross-border relations, meets a field of law whose basic principles were formed in a different era. A few keywords are changes in family constellations and patterns of life together, the loosening of ties of kinship, higher average life expectancy, individualization, migration and increased mobility, culturally and/or religiously based diversifications, growing private and public wealth and the welfare state's role in providing services for some tasks that were originally attended to by the family. This project will provide knowledge of relevant factors to be taken into consideration for the evaluation of the legal status quo on a general basis. Furthermore, it will study how some singular problems, in particular connected to the distinction on transferring property with effects in one's lifetime and with effects after death, are met in other jurisdictions. Moreover, it will study the legal situation when both Norwegian and Muslim succession law appears to be applicable due to rules of private international law, and how such cases are handled by the Muslim communities of Norway.

This project is basically legal research, notwithstanding that there is no general recognized method in todays paradigm of legal science. As quite common in legal research, this project will make use of multidisciplinary approaches to study the aforementioned processes, to consider to what extent such changes should initiate amendments of the law, and to evaluate to what extent contemporary law or proposals for amendments meet these demands.

Primary and secondary objectives of the project

Primary objectives: To

  • develop the theoretical basis for the law of succession
  • develop new knowledge about some practical challenges the contemporary law of succession is facing
  • implement this knowledge in contemporary legal discussions
  • develop and strengthen the Norwegian and thereby Nordic research environments
  • optimize the possibilities for legislation based on sound research

Secondary objectives: To study

  • different kinds of social changes and processes of internationalization that effect the law of succession
  • how challenges that similar changes and processes create or amplify are met in other jurisdictions
  • under which circumstances persons are subject to Muslim succession law and to what extent Muslim succession rules are practiced among Muslim communities in Norway
  • approaches to borderline cases concerning the distinction between dispositions taking effect prior to or after death