Emory International Law Review


Millions of immigrants from Muslim countries have entered Western borders in the past decades, bringing with them specific religious traditions and social mores. In accordance with the conflict of laws rules of many continental European legal systems, such as France and Germany, the courts of the host country apply the law of the parties' nationality (lex patriae) in matters relating to marriage and divorce. Under such regimes, Muslim parties involved in family law disputes may be subject to the law of their country of origin. This makes for striking results when applied to individuals who may have lived in a Western European country for decades but have not taken on the citizenship of that country, whether by choice or impossibility. Furthermore, it may generate questionable outcomes for immigrants who have chosen to leave their countries of origin specifically to avoid being judged against conservative interpretations of Islamic law.