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Trusts cross borders. When they do, real difficulties may arise. Will the understanding of what a trust is be different in a foreign state? Will the rights, powers and duties of the trustee and settlor be the same? What rights will the beneficiary be able to assert? Which legal system will be applied to the trust? Whithin what limits? What if the trust needs to be recognized in a state which does not have the institution of the trust in its domestic law?
The Hague Trusts Convention, enacted into English law by the Recognition of Trusts Act 1987, seeks to ameliorate the situation by providing harmonized choice of law rules for ""trusts created voluntarily and evidenced in writing"". It also provides for the recognition of trusts in contracting states. Those contracting states should recognize the trust, even if they do not have the institution in their domestic law.
This text ananlyses the Convention. It is aimed at academics and practitioners; at private international lawyers and at trust lawyers. Frequent reference is made to the position in civil law states and other trust states.