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

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.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.



Family member
Family unity (right to)