The Department for Private Law (PRIR) consists of a few full-time members (professors and research assistants) and a large number of part-time members. Regarding the list of research topics below it should be noted that various sub-divisions of certain areas of the law are being researched by more than one researcher, which is not reflected in the present summary, and that research by part-time members is not completely reproduced for lack of space. Furthermore, whereas the Department is mainly concerned with "civil" law, some of the research topics are interdisciplinary. Under the above mentioned proviso, the current research themes of PRIR may be summarised as follows: 1. All areas of the law covered by the Belgian Civil Code - Burgerlijk Wetboek: family law (including personal status, marriage and its dissolution, pre-nuptial contracts, children and their legal status including adoption...), succession, contract law (including specific contracts), tort law, the law of property, mortgages, and related topics; examples of main research projects in civil law are presently: - use of donor material in medically assisted procreation: psychological, ethical and legal research, interdisciplinary project, the legal part of which concerns aspects of family law, health law, social security law and bio-ethics regarding the use of extraneous genetic material; - patterns in parenthood and authority over children against the background of new non-traditional family structures, research on the appropriateness and desirability of legal recognition of factual relationships between children and social, i.e. non-biological parents (e.g. homosexual parents); - development of a general theory of mandatorily applicable (compulsory) legal rules and public policy rules, their effects and their relationship with the basic rule of freedom of contract. 2. Private international law (in the broadest sense of the expression, i.e. including conflict of laws, international jurisdiction conflicts, nationality). 3. The law of carriage of goods, with specific focus on multimodal (combined) transport. 4. Rules of civil procedure and evidence.