chapter  4
Judicial encounters with Islamic and Middle Eastern family law in Switzerland from a private international law perspective – marriage and divorce
ByAndrea Büchler, Amira Latif
Pages 32

This chapter examines the perspective of private international law, how Swiss judicial and administrative authorities deal with Islamic and Middle Eastern marriage and divorce law. Around 50 per cent of all marriages and divorces in Switzerland involve at least one foreign national. However, when Swiss state authorities are asked to assess the domestic effects of changes in civil status undertaken abroad, they frequently need to take foreign marriage and divorce statutes into account. Family law has always been strongly intertwined with religio-cultural traditions. Affecting most personal spheres of the individual citizen, it has been subjected to constant renegotiation by changing moral values, economic needs and political demands. The private international law principle of equality of all legal orders requires the acceptance of foreign provisions and the results of their application, as long as the requirements set by international law are fulfilled. Islamic law, wrongly perceived as a uniform entity, seems to have particularly provocative effects.