Netherlands: Court of the Hague recognises traditional marriages in Eritrea as legally valid

Date: 
Monday, August 7, 2017

On 7 August 2017, the Court of the Hague published its case no. 16/26926 concerning the application for a “permission for provisional stay” of an Eritrean national who was married through a traditional ceremony in Eritrea to another Eritrean national, who is currently a refugee in the Netherlands. The application had been rejected since the relevant authorities did not recognise traditional marriages as a lawful marriage under international private law, particularly due to the lack of official, sworn documents confirming the marriage. The applicant successfully appealed against this decision before the Court of the Hague.
 
The Court relied upon the opinion of legal experts to confirm that, in Eritrea, all marriages (civil, traditional and religious) are legally valid. Since the fact that there was a traditional marriage between the applicants was not put into question, the Court quashed the administrative decision and ordered the authorities to take a new decision, this time considering the applicant’s marriage as legally valid.
 
Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update.



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Keywords: 
Family member
Family unity (right to)