El Fadl v El Fadl: FD 2000

The court was asked as to the recognition of a Sharia compliant divorce between Lebanese Muslims. Under the relevant Lebanese 1962 legislation a Talaq was to be pronounced before 2 witnesses, a requirement of most systems of traditional Islamic Local Authority. The 1962 Act then imposed registration before a Sharia Court. Next, follows compulsory registration of the fact of the Talaq and registration in the civil register.
Held: The clear cut dichotomy between a bare Talaq and another single form of Talaq does not necessarily exist (in the jurisdiction in which it may have been obtained) so that the law of the country in question and the particular process undertaken must be examined from case to case to answer what is a question of English law.
The consent or objection of the wife to the divorce was irrelevant. It was not necessary for her to have notice of the pronounced in order to give effect to the talaq, which had been recorded in the Sharia court in accordance with Lebanese law. That registration was sufficient for the talaq properly to be described as proceedings within s.46. Furthermore, it was not a proper exercise of discretion to refuse a divorce which was valid by the personal law of both parties at the relevant time, as had been known to them for many years.
Hughes J said: ‘Thus what the law of the Lebanon requires on the evidence before is, first, a pronouncement of the words of the Talaq before two witnesses and, secondly, registration before the Sharia court . . accordingly, the role of the court is in this case an essential part of the process, even though it has no power of decision whether there is to be a divorce or not and is limited to recording what has previously taken place. I do not think that (one of the expert’s) description of the court’s function as a mere formality does justice to it.’


Hughes J


[2000] 1 FLR 175


Family Law Act 1986 46(1)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedDuhur-Johnson v Duhur-Johnson FD 3-May-2005
The husband sought to stay divorce proceedings commenced here by his wife, saying that they had already been divorced in Nigeria. The wife said the Nigerian proceedings should not be recognised in English law.
Held: The cases established: 1) . .
CitedSulaiman v Juffali FD 9-Nov-2001
A talaq pronounced in England as between parties who were Saudi nationals was not to be recognised in English law as a valid extra judicial overseas divorce, even though it otherwise complied with Sharia law. Section 44(1)(a) provides that no . .
CitedH v S FD 18-Nov-2011
The court was asked whether for the purposes of English divorce and connected proceedings a Talaq pronounced by the respondent husband in Saudi Arabia and placed by Deed of Confirmation before the Sharia Court is entitled to be afforded recognition . .
CitedH v H FD 12-Dec-2007
The parties disputed the effect of a talaq divorce granted to H in Pakistan. W disputed that notice of the divorce had been served upon her. The notice was not now available.
Held: H’s evidence was credible. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Family, International

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.224978