Journal Article

It Takes Two to Tango, But Three to Commit Adultery: A Survey of the Law on Adultery in Post-Colonial South Pacific States

Jennifer Corrin

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 26, issue 2, pages 187-219
Published in print August 2012 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online June 2012 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/ebs002
It Takes Two to Tango, But Three to Commit Adultery: A Survey of the Law on Adultery in Post-Colonial South Pacific States

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Adultery appears to provide a common link between divorce regimes. However, this does not necessarily mean that the rationale for the demonizing of adultery is the same in different parts of the world or that it is treated the same way in matrimonial regimes or under criminal laws. This article looks at the law of adultery in the South Pacific and seeks to place it in its historical and social context. It commences by exploring the historical approaches to adultery in selected South Pacific countries, with some reference to the development of the law in England, where most State law in this field originated. The article then looks at how adultery is treated under headings formed by the three legal responses to adultery: divorce; compensation; and criminal sanction, and the common law and customary law stances on each of these responses are compared. The article concludes with some comments on the significance of the similarities and differences highlighted in the article for law reform and the practice of transplantation.

Journal Article.  15124 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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