July 17, 2018

Netanyahu: Israel Won’t Allow Polygamy Under Any Circumstances

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel will not stand for polygamy under any circumstances, despite widespread disregard of the current law banning the practice and a ministerial committee recommendation to allow it in rare circumstances.

“I am not prepared to accept any polygamy in the State of Israel and this was my directive to the ministerial committee that is discussing the matter,” Netanyahu stated defiantly in a recent Tweet.

Polygamy was made illegal in 1977 but many communities in Israel still openly violate the law without any consequences–particularly in segments of Israel’s Bedouin population.

Typically, polygamists don’t officially marriage their multiple wives making it challenging for authorities to prosecute the offenders.

Even when marriages are officially formalized, Israeli police are reluctant to intervene, considering that the practice of polygamy is a deep-rooted religious and cultural tradition among Bedouin people.

The committee argued that in some extraordinary cases taking multiple wives should be acceptable. For example, for a man whose wife can’t produce offspring or whose wife has a serious illness.

There are over 6,000 Israeli men with more than one wife and almost one-fifth of Bedouin men are polygamous.

Polygamy is an offense that carries a five-year jail sentence and fine in Israel. While those who perform a marriage for a polygamous man can face up to six months in jail.

Read the full story here.

For a professional and experienced Thailand divorce lawyer, contact the US and Thai legal team at Chaninat & Leeds.

Sharia Court Fines Malaysian Man $450 for Marrying 11-year-old Thai Girl

A Malaysian man who married an 11-year-old Thai girl has been found guilty of polygamy and conducting a marriage without permission by a sharia court and fined $450. He was not charged with underage marriage.

Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid, who is 41-years-old and Muslim, already has two wives and six children.

The marriage, which took place in the Muslim-majority and conservative south of Thailand, drew outrage from Malays across social media and has rights groups pushing the government once again for the Malaysian government to outlaw child brides on the federal level.

As the law in Malaysia currently stands, Muslims girls can legally marry under the age of 16 with the consent of the parents and an Islamic court.

Some reports indicate that the parents of the girl–who are impoverished–might have agreed to allow the girl to marry Hamid due to financial incentives.

As of 2010, there were over 15,000 child brides in Malaysia.

Read the full story here.

For a qualified and experienced divorce lawyer in Thailand, contact the Thailand attorneys at Chaninat & Leeds.

Study: Over Half in Hong Kong Support Same-sex Marriage

In 2013, only 38% of Hong Kong residents approved of same-sex marriage. Now, that number has increased to over half (50.4%), according to a recent study by Hong Kong University’s Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL).

The huge shift in favor of same-sex marriage is part of a larger trend of openness towards same-sex couples and LGBTQ people in general.

The survey also found that 69% of respondents believe that there should be laws in place to protect individuals from discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

Although businesses, activists, and the people are all moving forward with their attitudes towards LGBTQ people, the government is still lagging behind and has not passed any such legislation.

But just today, there has been encouraging news on the part of the Hong Kong government. Hong Kong’s highest court granted spousal visas to an expat same-sex couple after a years-long, drawn-out legal battle.

Over half of Hong Kongers agreed with the court’s final sentiment that same-sex couples should be able to apply for a visa for their foreign partners to live in the city.

Read the full story here.

For help obtaining US immigration spousal visas, contact the experienced US and Thailand lawyers at Chaninat & Leeds.

Germany to Fine Imams Officiating Child Marriages

Ministry also considering banning child marriages


Germany is proposing to fine imams found officiating marriages of people under the age of 16 reports RT. Imams will be charged of fines up to $1100.

The German Interior Ministry is also looking to ban child marriages. Under existing law, the legal marrying age is 18 but 16 year olds can also obtain marriage licenses under special request provided the person they’re marrying is 18 years and above.

Justice Minister, Heiko Maas is hesitant on the issue and believes that the law should be dependent on individual cases. He also said that for refugees, not all child marriages should be automatically annulled because there could be reasons for exception based on child welfare.

Dynamic and professional family lawyers in Thailand are experts in drafting and registering internationally recognized prenuptial agreements in Thailand

Many politicians and human rights’ activists oppose Maas’ stand. Stephan Harbarth, the head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) faction in the German parliament, told Die Welt, a German news outlet,  “It is high time we introduced a clear ban on child marriages-there should be no child marriages in Germany as well as no legal ‘grey zone’ for them.

He added, “We need a clear age limit of 18 years for marriage in Germany. A child’s welfare should always prevail over protection of marriage,” and insisted that it is not in any child’s interests to stay married to a 30 year old spouse.”

Read more here

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Sharia Law May Protect Child Rapists Says Judge

Thailand to Ease Drug Laws

The Thai government is looking to reduce penalties on meth and marijuana by the end of this year

The penalties on drugs such as meth and marijuana in Thailand will be reduced by the end of this year, reports Khaosodenglish. This will be accomplished by reclassifying the drugs to a category that allows for them to be licensed for medical purposes.

Drugs that are on the list to be reclassified are meth, marijuana, kratom and hemp. The Director of Narcotics Control Board, Sirinya Sitdichai said that marijuana, kratom and hemp will be reclassified within the next several months and meth will be reclassified in December.

Chaninat & Leeds Attorneys specialize in Family Law in Thailand

Meth or Ya ba as the locals call it is currently under Category 1 while hemp, kratom and marijuana are under Category 5. Reclassifying the drugs would involve moving the drugs to Category 2 so they will be available for medical use.

Click here for the full article

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Incredible India-Sex with 15 Year Olds

India upholds its law to have 15 as the age of consent for married girlswedding-1404641_960_720

India deems it legal to have sex with a 15 year old girl provided the two of you are married. The law was amended in 2013 to raise the age of consent from 16 to 18.

The law, which was amended in 2013 to raise the age of consent from 16 to 18 failed to be amended for underage married girls.

According to the Indian Express, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that it was impractical to raise the age of consent for married girls because of social realities.

Child marriages although illegal, are rampant in India with a census report showing that more than 23 million child brides exist in India, of whom 10 million are below the age of ten. Failure of the government to raise this law by accepting child marriage as a ‘social reality’ is disturbing and encourages the country to keep up the antiquated tradition.

For the full article click here

Image Credit: Pixabay

U.S GMO Law – The Hidden Truth

Newly passed GMO labeling law blocks state authority to regulate and label GMO foodtomato_scanned


President Obama signed on a legislation called the Deny Americans the Right to Know, or DARK Act (H.R. 1599) that allows food companies to conceal the GMO ingredients in their food products.

Chaninat and Leeds Attorneys specialize in Family law in Thailand with expertise in Thailand Probate and Inheritance Proceedings

Not only does this bill affect the state’s ability to regulate genetically engineered foods, but it also negates the seed labeling laws passed in Vermont and Virginia along with Alaska’s law that makes GE fish labeling mandatory.

Of date, 64 countries around the world require that their GE foods be labeled. Many Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia label their GE food products.

Full Article on ActivistPost

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Custody Questions Raised Over Lost and Found Cat

Legal questions are being asked in California over pet custody and rights’, following a dispute over a cat, writes Sky News.

Image Credit: matt.herzog (Flickr)

Image Credit: matt.herzog (Flickr)

Tiffany Mestas had black and white cat David a kitten, however two years later when she moved house, David went missing. This was in 2007.
Despite a desperate search and offering $1000 reward, she never found David. The only hope that remained was that David had a microchip.
Last year the pet microchip company got in touch with Ms Mestas, however it was not to report that they would be returning David to her. It seemed David had a new owner – retired nurse Therese Weczorek, who adopted David from a cat rescue centre five years ago and named him Whiley.


Thailand attorney’s Chaninat and Leeds have decades of experience successfully defending child custody cases.

Ms Weczorek had been attempting to change the registration details for the microchip, which was then traced back to Ms Mestas.
The woman are now caught up in a custody battle over the cat.
Ms Weczorek’s lawyer, Leo Bartolotta says: “I have concerns that it would be extremely stressful to the cat to take it from a home it has been in for five years and put it in a new environment.
“Though the law is not totally clear, I believe that my client is the owner of the cat and will retain ownership of the cat.”
Read the full story here.

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Teenage Sex Bill Revised in South Africa

A controversial bill has been passed in Cape Town, allowing children aged 12 – 15 to engage in sexual activities legally, providing the age difference is not greater than two years, reports the Independent Online.

Image Credit: Flowcomm (Flickr)

Law change in South Africa. Image Credit: Flowcomm (Flickr)

Executive Director of Resources Aimed at the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Rapcan), Christina Nomdo, explains that that people should understand that the bill does not aim to encourage sex amongst teenagers, but simply decriminalizes it. She says:

“The previous law was asking for criminalization in what we believe is normal behavior […] The law makes it clear it is not the government’s duty to raise children, but the parents’. We would like to support parents so their children make good life choices.”

Thailand Family Lawyers, Chaninat and Leeds have decades of experience in successfully handling divorce and other family issues Thailand between Thai’s and Internationals.

Spokesperson for Sonke Gender Justice Mbuyiselo Botha is also pleased with the decision.

“It forces us, as parents and a community, to rethink sexuality. Why do we not educate our children about sex? We choose to criminalize it because it is the easier option.”

This new law has raised more than a few eyebrows. Steve Swart, an ACDP MP and member of the portfolio committee on justice, says there is “still a lot of unhappiness about the decriminalizing of sex even if it is consensual sex between teenagers in view of the high levels of HIV/Aids, teenage pregnancies and abuse”.

The Justice and Constitutional Development Deputy Minister John Jeffrey explains the courts decision:

“Many saw it as a way to promote teenage sex. The bill is not saying that adolescents should experiment sexually. What it is saying is that they should not be criminalized. (We) still promote that they wait until they are mature enough to make choices about sex. It’s just that it can’t be a criminal offense.”

For the full story, see here.