Fulbright Spotlight: Nausica Palazzo, Alumna a.a. 2017/18

Nausica Palazzo, Fulbright Alumna 2017/18, is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Comparative Family Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she is researching opposite-sex couples’ disenchantment with marriage and their parallel interest in accessing same-sex civil partnerships.

Before joining the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University, Nausica earned a cum laude Ph.D. in comparative constitutional law at the University of Trento. She conducted her doctoral research mostly abroad, including in the United States thanks to a Fulbright – Law scholarship. To conduct her studies at the University of Michigan School of Law, she was also awarded a Michigan Grotius Research Fellowship, Italian Alumni Law Fellowship and Ermenegildo Zegna Foundation Scholarship. The University awarded her a pro bono recognition for her work on helping indigent residents navigate Michigan’s welfare system and for her pro bono research activity for the Philippines Commission on Human Rights.

Nausica has recently published the findings of her doctoral research in the book Legal Recognition of Non-Conjugal Families: New Frontiers in Family Law in the US, Canada and Europe, Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2021. In her book, she addresses the problem of the insufficient legal recognition of all families living outside of the archetypical model of the marital family. She takes non-conjugal couples – i.e. interdependent pairs of adult siblings, relatives or friends – as a case study to demonstrate how legal recognition could be achieved, namely through strategic litigation. For each jurisdiction (the US, Canada, the European Union and the system of the European Convention of Human Rights), her attempt is to build legal arguments that could support the legal recognition of these unconventional families in the courtroom.

Despite being published only recently, the book is triggering a national debate on the legal recognition of friendship and interdependent siblings in Italy, gaining media coverage on important media outlets and podcasts. She recently received an offer to translate the book in Italian for the general public from a prestigious Italian publishing house.