Jurists, experts discuss Lebanon’s first civil marriage


civil marriage a civil rightThe first civil marriage held in Lebanon between Kholoud Sukkariyah and Nidal Darwish became a controversial subject supported by many and rejected by many others.

In this context, a discussion session was held in Jbeil between experts, jurists and researchers who agreed that there are no legal obstacles that hinder the conclusion of a civil marriage contract in Lebanon.

For his part, MP Ghassan Moukhaiber told LBCI that there is a Lebanese law ratified since 1936 that allows civil marriage, urging the Lebanese state to preserve the right of people who don’t wish to belong to any sect or confession.

Paperwork needed

For Kholoud and Nidal it wasn’t easy. They reportedly were required to do the following paperwork:

1- Deleted the mention of their religious sects from their Lebanese IDs to prove before the law that they are not affiliated with any sect that forces them to marry before a religious court. This gave them the right to hold a civil marriage in accordance with Article 60 L.R.

2: Obtained a form signed by the Mukhtar ( village elected official) confirming their identity and proving that there are no objections to their marriage

3- Announced their intention to marry 15 days before the actual wedding date ceremony to make sure that there were no objections to it. The announcement was supposed to be published in the Official Gazette or at least two newspapers, but in order to prevent any objections , they posted the announcement on the doors of their parents’ houses and on the door of their own house.

4- Obtained a legal document signed by a notary public after both chose the articles included in the marriage contract

The key of course is Decree No. 60 L.R. which was adopted in 1936 by the High Commissioner during the French Mandate in Lebanon , which organizes and recognizes sects and grants them rights, said Lawyer Talal Husseini, who authored the draft. The decree says that those who are not affiliated with a sect are subject to the civil law of personal status, as well as to the introduction of the Constitution which adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Kholoud and Nidal’s marital contract was signed by the Notary Public and it was referred to Interior Minister Marwan Charbel who will look into its legitimacy,” LBCI reported.

Khouloud and Nidal are of course still waiting for the Ministry of Interior to officially announce their marriage, but this beats going to Cyprus where most Lebanese couples go to get a civil marriage.