Akhter V Khan case, comments  from Charles Hale QC of 4PB who represented Mrs Akhter.

“Thousands of women, usually Muslim women believe that they lawfully marry in this country each year by undertaking a religious ceremony only.  Many of them (and its usually Muslim women) do not know in fact that, no matter how many people attend, no matter how public an expression of the marital contract, that they are not in fact lawfully married in accordance with the laws of England and Wales.  This means that many have absolutely no rights at the end of what they believe to be their “marriage”. No rights to assets in the husband’s sole name, and no rights to maintenance, even if, as with Mrs Akhter, they were married for 18 years.  The Court of Appeal have dismissed human rights based first instance decision of Mr Justice Williams and have upheld the existing concepts of what constitutes a lawful marriage, but in doing so recognised that the concept of “non-marriage” in these cases is offensive to many. The law in these cases is not keeping up with society.  These vulnerable women need better protection that the law currently provides.”

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email