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Report No. 65

V. 1973 Act

8.16. Act of 1973 in relation to English divorces.-

At this stage, we may also state that the position as regards extra-judicial divorces pronounced by a party or by a non-judicial authority in the United Kingdom has now been changed by section 16(1) of the Domicile and Matrimonial Proceedings Act, 1973, which provides that "No proceeding in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or-the Isle of Man shall be regarded as validly dissolving a marriage unless instituted in the courts of law of one of these countries". However, under section 16(3), this provision does not affect the validity of any divorce obtained before 1974 which would be recognised as valid under the previous recognition rules, i.e., under the common law rules.1 Thus, section 16 appears to deny recognition to any extra-judicial divorce obtained in England after 1973, and reverses the decision in a case like Qureshi v. Qureshi, (1971) 3 All ER 315.

But ambiguity survives as to overseas divorces, obtained extra-judicially.

1. Section 16, The Domicile etc. Act, 1973.

8.16A. Literature.-

In a recent issue of the Law Quarterly Review1, the question of extra-judicial divorces has been considered, and the earlier article2 on the subject has been referred to. The discussion shows that the position is not certain.

1. Jafrev Recognition of Extra-Judicial Divorces (Note), (1975 July) 91 Law Quarterly Review 320.

2. North Recognition of Extra-Judicial Divorces, (1975) 91 Law Quarterly Review 36.

Recognition of Foreign Divorces Back

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