Rights in Marriage



Mauritian Women v. Mauritius, Human Rights Committee, Communication No.35/1978, 9 Apr. 1981.
Legislation that restricts the entry into the country of foreign spouses of women, not men, violates the principle of equal treatment of the sexes guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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Mst Humaira v. Malik Moazzam Ghayas Khokhar & Ors, High Court, Pakistan, 18 Feb 1999.
A woman has the right to contract marriage of her own free will and police authorities must not interfere with this right; any interference will constitute a violation of Article 16 of CEDAW.


Muller and Engelhard v. Namibia, Human Rights Committee, Communication No.919/2000, 26 Mar. 2002.
Subjecting a married couple’s choice to take the wife’s surname to stricter and more cumbersome conditions than the choice to take the husband’s surname is discrimination. Furthermore, “the argument of a long-standing tradition cannot be maintained as a general justification for different treatment of men and women, which is contrary to the Covenant.”

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Paton v. United Kingdom, European Court of Human Rights, Application No. 8416/78, 13 May 1980.
The right to respect family life under the European Convention on Human Rights does not confer on a husband a right to be consulted or to prevent his wife from having an abortion; preventing him from interfering with the wife’s abortion is necessary for the protection of her rights.

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Rattigan & Ors v. Chief Immigration Officer & Ors, [1994] (ICHRL 12, 13 June 1994)
Refusal to issue residence permits to the foreign husbands of female citizens violates women’s rights to freedom of movement and privacy of the home. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 17 was consulted in making this determination, though the right to family life is not enshrined in the national constitution.

Details of Rattigan & Ors v. Chief Immigration Officer & Ors:Read online