H v S: FD 18 Nov 2011

References: [2011] EWHC B23 (Fam)
Links: Bailii
Coram: Horowitz QC J
Ratio: 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 in this jurisdiction. The parties had married in England.
Held: It was to be recognised: ‘I ask what is the purpose and policy of s46(1) and the International Convention to which it gives effect? The answer it seems to me is that it provides a mechanism to afford recognition to a Sharia divorce which is more than and has developed from mere oral delivery so that there can be no issue that it has been pronounced. It is also required to be effective within its own jurisdiction. If that is right, the Saudi process as now performed using the machinery adopted by the husband has produced a divorce religiously valid as certified by a religious Court and further effecting a full change of civil status in the eye of the state and the society in which it was pronounced via the registration mechanism. I find it difficult to classify that result and the process by which it was achieved it as outside the intention and boundaries of our recognition code.’
Statutes: Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 17, Family Law Act 1986 5491) 46(2), 1970 Hague Convention on the Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separation
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
This case cites:

  • Cited – Zaal v Zaal FD ((1983) 4 FLR 284, (1982) 12 Fam Law 173)
    The English wife had married a Dubai husband under muslim law. H pronounced talaq in Dubai. W, wanting to divorce him for adultery, said it was ineffective since she had not had notice of it.
    Held: The Talaq was effective under Dubai law, and . .
  • Cited – Chaudhary v Chaudhary ([1985] FLR 476, [1985] Fam 19)
    The Pakistani husband pronounced bare Talaq in Sharia form before witnesses in Kashmir, although administered by Pakistan a territory to which the Muslim Family Ordinance 1961 did not apply. Recognition of the Talaq divorce had been refused by Wood . .
  • Cited – Sulaiman v Juffali FD (Times 28-Nov-01, [2002] 1 FLR 479, [2002] Fam Law 97, [2001] EWHC 556 (Fam), [2002] 2 FCR 427, Bailii)
    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 . .
  • Cited – Agbaje v Akinnoye-Agbaje SC ([2010] 1 AC 628, [2010] 1 FLR 1813, Bailii, [2010] UKSC 13, Times, [2010] 2 WLR 709, [2010] 2 All ER 877, [2010] Fam Law 573, [2010] 2 FCR 1, UKSC 2009/0034, SC Summary, SC)
    The parties had divorced in Nigeria, but the former wife now sought relief in the UK under section 10 of the 194 Act. The wife said that she lived here, but the order made in Nigeria was severely detrimental requiring her either to live here in . .
  • Cited – Quazi v Quazi HL ([1979] 3 All ER 897 HL(E), [1979] 3 WLR 833, [1980] AC 744)
    The husband had pronounced a talaq in Pakistan, in accordance with the 1961 Muslim Family Ordinance. The question was whether the English court had jurisdiction on the wife’s petition to dissolve the marriage and make consequential orders relating . .
  • Cited – H v H (The Queen’s Proctor Intervening) (Validity of Japanese Divorce) FD ([2006] EWHC 2989 (Fam), [2007] 1 FLR 1318)
    The court considered the validity of a consensual form of divorce kyogi rikon in Japanese law, the most common form of divorce in Japan. The consent is by written form not judicial act but the signing must be followed by formal registration before a . .
  • Cited – El Fadl v El Fadl FD ([2000] 1 FLR 175)
    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 . .

(This list may be incomplete)

Last Update: 20 April 2020
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