Foreign Ideas about ‘Child Marriage’?

On 4 September 2019, a Frankfurt court ruled that Germany must recognize marriages involving minors that had been concluded within the EU. The case involved a couple who had married in Bulgaria and now resides in Germany. The bride was 17 when she wed. The case throws into sharp relief hidden assumptions within the broader debate about ‘child marriage’ that has occupied German politicians and commentators over the last two years. These assumptions matter because they reflect broader European and international popular and political discussions as well as laws. But they also matter because they ignore a number of important developments over the last century across much of the world in reforming family law.

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„Möge diesem Gesetz kein langes Leben beschieden sein!“: das Kinderehengesetz vor dem BVerfG

Am 2017 in Kraft getretenen Kinderehegesetz kann man sehen, dass sich unterdrückte Ängste vor fremden Lebensweisen derzeit teils mit solcher Kraft Bahn brechen, dass jede Rationalität des Gesetzgebers verloren geht. Jetzt hat der Bundesgerichtshof entschieden, das Gesetz nach Art. 100 GG dem BVerfG vorzulegen, und man darf hoffen, dass es nun wirklich für verfassungswidrig erklärt werden wird – zumindest in seinen schlimmsten Teilen.

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