Liaw v Lee (Recognition of Divorce): FD 3 Jun 2015

The applicant sought that the decrees nisi and absolute of divorce issued by the High Court of Malaya at Shah Alam in favour of the respondent husband be refused recognition in England and Wales.
Held: The application was granted: ‘the husband and his solicitor engaged in sharp practice in obtaining the divorce in Malaysia. A petition was filed which was knowingly false. The case that the wife had effectively disappeared and that there was no alternative means of effecting service on her was again knowingly false. The reasons for expediting Decree Absolute were spurious and again represent a deliberate misleading of the Malaysian Court: the true reason was to prevent the wife from applying in the waiting period to set aside the decree nisi.’
The Court examined the underused Council Regulation finding that it was given a discretion. There were balancing interests: ‘Militating against refusal is the fact that it is undesirable to have two different decrees absolute in different places in relation to the same marriage. A decree absolute is a matter of status and it is undesirable that the parties should have inconsistent decisions as to when their marriage was finally ended.’ and ‘ to decline to refuse recognition in this case would be grossly unjust and would in effect reward dishonesty and sharp practice. It would send out a signal that conduct such as I have described is tolerable.’
The wife was entitled to her decree Nisi, and the court and judge in Malaysia should notified of the decision.

Mostyn J
[2015] EWHC 1462 (Fam)
Family Law Act 1986 51(3)(a), Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 22(b)
England and Wales
CitedRex v Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy KBD 9-Nov-1923
Clerk wrongly retired with Justices
There had been a prosecution before the lay magistrates for dangerous driving. Unknown to the defendant and his solicitors, the Clerk to the Justices was a member of the firm of solicitors acting in a civil claim against the defendant arising out of . .
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) . .
CitedIvleva v Yates FD 4-Mar-2014
By an application Mrs Ivleva (formerly Yates) sought (i) recognition in this jurisdiction of a divorce granted in Ukraine in respect of her marriage to Mr Yates and (ii) the dismissal of divorce proceedings brought in this jurisdiction by Mr Yates. . .
CitedOlafisoye v Olafisoye FD 28-Jul-2010
The court was asked to consider the recognition here of a foreign divorce.
Held: Holman J said: ‘I observe and stress at the outset the following matters. First, in this case, and probably in all such cases, the issue is very fact specific and . .
CitedGolubovich v Golubovich CA 30-Mar-2011
The court considered an application under 51(3)(c) of the 1986 Act to refuse to recognise a foreign decree of divorce.
Held: The appeal was allowed against the non-recognition of a Russian divorce that followed proceedings between Russian . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Family, International

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.547552