Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

European Court of Justice on the Legality of Sharia Divorce

From Deutsche Welle:

The European Court of Justice is reviewing whether a divorce granted by a Sharia court is still valid in Germany. Experts are warning against a general ban, as that could put women at a disadvantage.

On Thursday this week, Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe, advocate general at the European Court of Justice, issued an opinion saying that a divorce under Sharia law should not be recognized. The Munich lawyer Stephan Lorenz calls this "madness" as he believes that it prevents the possibility of analyzing its validity in individual cases. The ECJ judgment is still pending; however, judges often follow such recommendations.


The case at hand involves a couple from Syria with German nationality. They married in 1999 in Homs, Syria, before eventually moving to Germany. Four years ago in a Syrian Sharia court, the husband ended the marriage by repeating the word "talaq" ("I divorce you") three times.  Usually, only men are permitted to divorce a spouse in this way. Women rarely have the same right.

Read more here.

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