To characterise all of this as a non-marriage in law feels instinctively uncomfortable in 2018 and might rightly be regarded as insulting by many

With reference to Akhter v Khan [2018] and the subsequent appeal in AG v Akhter and others [2020] EWCA Civ 122 critically evaluate the implications of this decision and whether the law ought to give greater recognition to unregistered religious ceremonies.

 

Family law- unregistered religious marriages

In Akhter v Khan [2018] EWFC 54 when referring to unregistered religious marriages Mr Justice Williams stated that:

“The parties may have undergone a public marriage ceremony conducted by an official witnessed by others in which they confirmed that there was no impediment to them marrying that they consented and that they committed themselves to each other which they their family and communities accepted led to them being married … To all intents and purposes they have been married… To characterise all of this as a non-marriage in law feels instinctively uncomfortable in 2018 and might rightly be regarded as insulting by many … If it is a non-marriage which fails they may find they have no recourse to civil law and the remedies that provides … and usually of course the party who loses out is the wife [who] cannot ask a court to deal with issues of property maintenance pension sharing or variation of trusts.” (para 8)

With reference to Akhter v Khan [2018] and the subsequent appeal in AG v Akhter and others [2020] EWCA Civ 122 critically evaluate the implications of this decision and whether the law ought to give greater recognition to unregistered religious ceremonies.

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