The European Union’s top court has ruled that the bloc’s divorce regulations do not cover private agreements, meaning a Munich court has to decide whether to recognise a divorce granted under Sharia law.
Raja Mamisch and Soha Sahyouni, who married in Syria and live in Germany, had been granted a divorce in 2013 in Syria in an Islamic Sharia law proceeding.
The case came to Europe when Mr Mamisch applied to have the divorce recognised in Germany, and the Munich state court ruled the EU’s “Rome III” regulation applied, and granted his application.
However, Ms Sahyouni appealed to the Munich court, which asked for the European Court of Justice’s opinion, which in turn ruled that Rome III does not apply to such “private” divorces. The court sent the case back to Munich, saying it needs to decide under national law.
The Munich court said it could not comment on what might happen next in the case until it receives the full European Court of Justice decision.