Canadian Jewish Congress Submits Views on Divorce Laws to Parliament

The Canadian Jewish Congress has submitted a brief to a special parliamentary committee here, considering changes in the commonwealth’s divorce laws, recommending that a new law must do away with the present procedures “which recognize adultery as the sole ground of divorce.” Such a requirement, the CJC stated, is “completely inadequate.”

Filing its brief at the request of the special committee, the CJC recommended that “divorce proceedings ought to include conciliation procedures, without which divorce courts will not be empowered to dissolve a marriage.”

The CJC drew Parliament’s attention to the Jewish requirements “whereby, in Jewish law, a divorce is a religious act involving compliance with a number of requirements, and has to be executed by a competent ecclesiastical tribunal of three rabbis.” However, Congress stated, it does not suggest “that a religious requirement ought to be enforced by law.”

The brief stressed that “the Jewish concept of marriage has always been that, while the marriage bond is expected to be inviolable, it is not indissoluble” and referred to the tradition which “makes it abundantly clear that divorce can only be a last resort for the relief of the parties when marriage has been irretrievably broken down.”

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