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CJEU: Private divorces do not come within the scope of the ‘Rome III’ Regulation

According to Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe, private divorces do not come within the scope of the ‘Rome III’ Regulation.  In any event, that regulation on the law applicable to divorce does not allow such a divorce to be recognised as valid where the applicable foreign law is discriminatory.

In any event, that regulation on the law applicable to divorce does not allow such a divorce to be recognised as valid where the applicable foreign law is discriminatory.

Mr Raja Mamisch and Mrs Soha Sahyouni, who hold both Syrian and German citizenship, currently reside in Germany.

In 2013, since Mr Mamisch expressed his desire to get divorced, his representative pronounced the required formula before a religious court in Syria, which granted the divorce. The divorce was ‘private’ in so far as it is based not on a constitutive decision of a court or other public authority, but on a declaration of intent of the spouses, in this case unilateral and followed by a merely declarative act of a foreign authority. Subsequently, Mrs Sahyouni signed a declaration acknowledging that she had received all the payments which, according to religious law, were due to her under the marriage contract and on the basis of the unilateral divorce instigated by her husband and she thereby released her husband from all obligations to her. 

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Original article link: https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2017-09/cp170098en.pdf

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