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Colonial Cases

Seagar v. Seagar, 1925


Seagar v. Seagar

Consular Court, Constantinople
Source: The Times, 5 May 1925





This was a motion to make absolute a decree nisi of divorce pronounced on July 16, 1924, by his Honour Judge Linton T. Thorp in the British Consular Court in Constantinople.

Mr. T. BUCKNILL said that the petitioner, Lilian Devereux Seager, was married to the respondent, Edward James Percival Seager, on October 31, 1893, at the British Consulate in Constantinople, and afterwards she went through a second ceremony of marriage at the Evangelical Church at Bebek.  The respondent was a British subject, and had always been domiciled in Turkey.  On July 7, 1924, Mrs. Seager presented a petition for divorce in his Britannic Majesty's Supreme Court for the Dominions of the Sublime Ottoman Porte (Matrimonial Jurisdiction), a Court constituted to hear matrimonial causes between non-Moslem British Subjects in Turkey by Article 103 of the Ottoman Order in Council, 1910 (Stat. R. and I., 1910, No. 1184), and Article 11 of the Turkey Order in Council, 1922 (Stat. R. and O., No. 226); and on July 16, 1924, a decree nisi was pronounced on the ground of the respondent's adultery. 

By Article 16 of the Convention signed by Turkey and Great Britain on July 24, 1923, it was agreed that in matters of personal status of non-Moslem British subjects in Turkey, only the tribunals of the country of which the party whose personal status was in question should have jurisdiction.  The Consular Court which pronounced the decree nisi had ceased to function from August 6, 1924.

By the Treaty of Peace (Turkey) Act, 1924 (14 Geo. V., c. 7), it was provided that his Majesty's Supreme Court of Judicature in England should have jurisdiction in such cases, unless the Supreme Court of Cyprus could, on application to it, try the case more conveniently; and that the law to be administered should be the law applicable under the Ottoman Order in Council, 1910, Article 90 - namely, the English law for the time being in force.  He (counsel) moved that the decree be made absolute.

The HON. VICTOR RUSSELL, for the King's Proctor, did not oppose the application.

Mr. JUSTICE SWIFT intimated that he was prepared to make the decree absolute, and said that it might be entered in the list of decrees to be made absolute next Monday.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School