Report No. 71
The objection that irretrievable breakdown as a ground is divorce is vague has been already dealt with.1 Other objections to it may be dealt with.
(a) Irretrievable breakdown allows the spouses, or even one spouse, to terminate the marriage at will, thus transforming marriage from a union for life into one which can be ended at pleasure.
(b) It is contrary to the basic principle that no man should be allowed to take advantage of his own wrong; a spouse who was responsible for the break down of marriage should not be able to rely on such breakdown in order to obtain a divorce against his or her partner's will. By authorising one spouse to divorce the other against the latter's will after separation for a specific period, the law will have given statutory recognition for the first time to the principle that a person may take advantage of his or her own wrong.
These objections, advanced at one time or other against the grant of divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown of marriage, cannot, in our opinion, succeed in their entirety. They can result only in the insertion in the relevant legislation of certain safeguards, intended to meet some of the objections and to allay some of the apprehensions.
1. Para. 4.2, supra.