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Report No. 65

16.7. Breach of natural justice.-

This takes us to the second exception1 needed in relation to recognition. That relates to a foreign decree passed in breach of natural justice. The English Act2 has a specific provision on the subject, the gist of which is that a foreign decree will not be recognised in England if either the other party had no reasonable notice of the proceedings, or if the other party had, apart from notice, no reasonable opportunity of hearing. For both the purposes-i.e., for determining the reasonableness of the notice and reasonableness of the opportunity-regard is to be had to the nature of the proceedings and "all circumstances" (of the case).

The relevant provision in the English Act reads-

"(2) Subject to sub-section (1) of this section, recognition by virtue of this Act or of any rule preserved by section 6 thereof of the validity of a divorce or legal separation obtained outside the British Isles may be refused if, and only if-

(a) it was obtained by one spouse

(i) without such steps having been taken for giving notice of the proceedings to the other spouse as, having regard to the nature of the proceedings and all the circumstances, should reasonably have been taken; or

(ii) without the other spouse having been given (for any reason other than lack of notice) such opportunity to take part in the proceedings as, having regard to the matters aforesaid, he should reasonable have been given; or".

This could be adopted in our law also, being obviously fair and required by the canons of justice.

1. Para. 16.3, supra.

2. Section 8(2), English Act of 1971.

Recognition of Foreign Divorces Back

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