Italian Judges allow marriage "by phone"

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

An Italian court today ruled that marriages conducted over the telephone are admissible under Italian law.

Mushtaq Z. C., a Pakistani national who lives in Italy under a work permit, had permission to bring his wife to the country refused by the Italian Embassy on the 20th of September 2006, on that grounds that a wedding celebrated by telephone could not be valid. Mushtaq had remained in Italy when he married his wife who was back home in Pakistan.

The Tribunale dell'Immigrazione di Milano ruled that, under Italian law, Mushtaq's right to bring someone to Italy as his wife could only be judged on the basis of the legitimacy of the marriage under the laws the country in which the marriage had been conducted. Mushtaq was able to demonstrate to the court not just a marriage certificate from Pakistan but a video of the wedding celebration in Pakistan in which relatives and friends had celebrated the event in the absence of the happy couple.

The court ruled, therefore, that the happy couple could finally meet at an airport somewhere in Italy and live as man and wife within the country.