- Capacity to consent to marriage, nullity and declarations under the inherent jurisdiction considered (NB v MI)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
Family analysis: The High Court was presented with an application for a declaration of non-recognition of a Muslim marriage and a petition for nullity. The parties were married in Pakistan under Sharia law in June 2013. The applicant sought to argue, relying on two expert reports, that she did not have capacity to consent to marriage at the time. The court had to consider the issue of her capacity and then consider whether to make a declaration of non-recognition, or alternatively annul the marriage. The High Court refused the applications as it considered, on the facts of this case, the applicant had capacity to consent at the relevant time. The marriage was therefore valid under English law at its formation. Even if he had formed the opposite view, Mr Justice Mostyn made clear the court would still not have made a declaration under the court’s inherent jurisdiction as he was prevented by statute. Tahmina Rahman, barrister at 1GC Family, considers the case.
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