Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Belgium on polygamy

The Constitutional Court of Belgium on June 26 annulled an article of the alien law of 2006 that gave no right of family reunification to children born of a polygamous marriage. Now an alien living in Belgium can request that children from a second marriage, probably living in his home country, can legally immigrate to join him. (See this Islam in Europe entry.)

So is polygamy itself now legal in Belgium? I'm not a lawyer, so I leave that question to others, but I suspect that if it isn't, it soon will be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One thought on the optimistic side: Maybe the issue from the court's perspective was simple paternity, and not the circumstances of the relationship that produced the child in the first place? The key test on whether this augurs the arrival of polygamy in Belgium will be how the court framed the ruling. For example, did the judge compare the children at issue here to children of a divorced union and suggest the same rules should apply in both cases?

If, on the other hand, Belgian law requires the parents be married in this circumstance and the judge held that a polygamous union would count as a "marriage," we're really in trouble.