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In the Marriage of C and D (falsely called C) - (1979) 28 ALR 2!
/AM#L0 COURT O/ AU1TRAL#A 2ell J !, April 1-.)) 2ris3ane
"a#ily la$ -- %&llity -- '&s(and a her#a)hrodite -- "or# of relief so&ght -- 'o$ to (e a))lied in deter#ining $hether #arriage is *oid -- +ro&nd of identity -- ,ife #ista-en as to identity -- .his $as not a #arriage as &nderstood in Christendon -- (C.') Matri#onial Ca&ses Act 19 9 ss !(()/ 18/ !0(1)/ 09(2) T$e parties were arried in 1-4. and li5ed toget$er until 1-."6 T$e $us3and $ad 3een diagnosed as a true $er ap$rodite6 At t$e age of twent&)two $e underwent surger& w$i'$ in5ol5ed t$e restru'turing of $is e7ternal se7 organs6 Alt$oug$ $e still possessed a nor al fe ale se7 '$ro oso e 'o ple ent8 t$e surger& 'arried out was su'$ as to 'onfir t$e re'ognition t$at $e was 3orn a ale and $ad 3een reared as a ale6 T$ese fa'ts were un9nown to t$e wife at t$e date of t$e arriage6 T$e wife 'lai ed t$at t$e $us3and was una3le to 'onsu ate t$e arriage and soug$t an appli'ation for de'laration as to t$e 5alidit& of t$e arriage6 :owe5er8 t$e Matri onial Causes A't 1-*- did not 'onfer t$e 'ourt wit$ ;urisdi'tion to a9e a de'laration of 5alidit& of arriage6 2e'ause it $ad 3een $eld in England t$at a nullit& suit was t$e proper et$od of $a5ing a arriage de'lared to 3e 5oid and no de'laration pro'eedings 'ould 3e entertained8 an appli'ation for a de'laration of nullit& was filed6 'eld: %i( On'e fa'ts are pro5ed to esta3lis$ t$at t$e arriage is 5oid8 t$e 'ourt $as no ;urisdi'tion to find ot$er t$an t$e arriage was no arriage and de'lare t$at t$e arriage 3e a3solutel& null and 5oid6 %ii( T$e law to 3e applied in deter ining w$et$er a Schmidt and Schmidt %1-.4( 1 /a %iii( T$e grounds for a 5oid arriage is 5oid is t$at at t$e date of t$e arriage6 LR 118<** = 1, ALR <4< = >1-.4? /LC -,),*!8 followed
arriage were t$ose 'ontained in s 1"%1( of t$e Matri onial Causes A't 1-*- %Ct$(6
%i5( T$e wife@s 'onsent to t$e arriage was not a true 'onsent 3e'ause s$e was ista9en as to t$e identit& of t$e $us3and at t$e ti e of t$e arriage6 1$e 3elie5ed t$at s$e was arr&ing a ale w$ereas in fa't s$e was arr&ing a 'o 3ination of 3ot$ ale and fe ale6 %5( Marriage as understood in C$ristendo is t$e 5oluntar& union of one an and one wo an to t$e e7'lusion of all ot$ers for life8 and tin'e t$e respondent was a 'o 3ination of 3ot$8 a arriage in t$e true sense 'ould not $a5e ta9en pla'e and did not e7ist: Nachimson v Nachimson >1-<,? A !1.8 applied A))lication T$is was an appli'ation 3& a wife for de'laration as to 5alidit&8 dissolution or annul ent of t$e t$e arriage6 :owe5er8 under
28 ALR 524 at 525 Matri onial Causes A't 1-*- %Ct$( t$e 'ourt did not $a5e ;urisdi'tion to a9e a de'laration of 5alidit& of arriage6 As it $ad 3een $eld in England t$at a nullit& suit was t$e proper et$od of $a5ing a arriage de'lared to 3e 5oid and t$at no de'laration pro'eedings 'ould 3e entertained8 2ell J suggested to 'ounsel for t$e wife t$at an appli'ation for a de'laration of nullit& 3e filed8 w$i'$ was done6
!? /a 1.6 T$e parties li5ed toget$er until in or a3out t$e ont$ of Ma& 1-. and C w$o was 3orn on 1! No5e 3er 1-.S D Rapoport for t$e appli'ant %wife(6 T$ere was no appearan'e 3& or on t$e 3e$alf of t$e respondent %$us3and(6 2ell J6 D %falsel& 'alled C( %$ereinafter referred to as Bt$e wifeB( went t$roug$ a 'ere on& of to as Bt$e $us3andB( on + /e3ruar& 1-4.<8 are '$ildren of t$e arriage wit$in t$e eaning of t$ose words as 'ontained in t$e /a il& Law A't6 C was adopted and R is a '$ild of t$e ot$er 3ut not of t$e $us3and6 Regretta3l& it is ne'essar& for e to 'onsider t$e $us3and@s 3irt$ and su3seDuent de5elop ent as a result of w$at will 3e'o e patentl& o35ious at a later stage6 T$e parents of t$e $us3and appear to $a5e 3een related6 /ro t$eir union eig$t '$ildren were 3orn )) t$e $us3and in t$is 'ase8 twin si3lings w$o died in infan'&8 one nor al 3rot$er8 t$ree 3rot$ers suffering fro 5ar&ing degrees of ner5ous and ental pro3le s and all of w$o are presentl& re'ei5ing full 'are at 2aillie :enderson 1pe'ial :ospital %a As&'$iatri' :ospital(8 and one sister w$o was 'lassified as su3nor al and is 3eing 'ared for at a refuge 'ondu'ted 3& t$e 1isters of Mer'&6 T$e parents of t$e $us3and are now dead6 T$e $us3and was edu'ated at a 'ollege on a s'$olars$ip and $is '$ild$ood was un'o pli'ated 3& an& serious illness or operation6 :owe5er 3etween t$e ages of 1< &ears and !.<8 and t$at a arriage $as 3een 5alidl& . &ears $e noti'ed t$at $is 3reasts $ad de5eloped to su'$ a ar9ed degree t$at it aroused t$e 'uriosit& and interest of $is wor9 ates6 T$e& freDuentl& ade fun of $i 8 anno&ed $i and ridi'uled t$is fe ale)li9e Dualit&6 :e onl& reDuired to s$a5e e5er& t$ree or four da&s6 :e does not $a5e profuse fa'ial $air growt$ e5en at t$is stage6 Earl& in life up until a3out t$e age of !! &ears8 $e was una3le to stand and urinate in t$e nor al ale fas$ion6 At t$e age of 14 &ears $e 'o en'ed to $a5e a ont$l& loss of 3lood and t$is 'ontinued until $e was a3out !! &ears6 T$is was of 'ourse a great distress and e 3arass ent to $i 6 :e was at a loss to 'o pre$end or understand all t$is and re'ei5ed 5er& little 'o fort and/or support fro $is parents6 At t$e age of !1 &ears t$e $us3and 'onsulted $is do'tor in Earwi'9 for re'urrent a3do inal pains6 T$e do'tor perfor ed a surgi'al operation on t$e a3do en and found t$at t$e $us3and $ad an o5ar& and a uterus and $e was su3seDuentl& referred to a spe'ialist in 2ris3ane and 28 ALR 524 at 526 $ad four surgi'al operations at t$e age of !! &ears to 'orre't $is e7ternal se7 organs6 :e also $ad an operation for t$e re o5al of 3ot$ 3reasts6 As a result t$e edi'al pra'titioners w$o were in5ol5ed presented a paper w$i'$ was pu3lis$ed in t$e Medical Journal of Australia on 11 June 1-446 # do not 'onsider t$at # need to go into an& furt$er details 'on'erning t$e tragi' life of t$e $us3and in t$is 'ase 3ut t$at to sa& $e $as 3een diagnosed as an hermaphroditus verus= in ot$er words a true $er ap$rodite6 As was said in t$e Medical Journal8 an hermaphroditus verus is ost un'o on6 A 9ar&ot&pe of a 'ell fro t$e perip$eral $ood s$owed a 'ount of +4 '$ro oso es and a nor al fe ale se7 '$ro oso e 'o ple ent and all t$e 'ells w$i'$ were anal&sed fro t$e $us3and@s 3od& 'onfor ed to t$is pattern6 Notwit$standing t$e '$ro oso al arrange ent8 t$e surger& 'arried out on t$e $us3and was su'$ as to 'onfir t$e re'ognition t$at $e was 3orn a ale and $ad 3een reared as a ale6 1$ortl& after t$e operation referred to8 t$e $us3and 3e'a e engaged to $is wife and t$e& went out toget$er for so e fi5e &ears prior to arriage6 No for of se7ual inter'ourse too9 pla'e 3etween t$e parties prior to arriage6 1u3seDuent to arriage t$e e5iden'e of t$e wife is t$at t$e $us3and was una3le to 'onsu ate t$e arriage6 "or# of relief so&ght T$e original appli'ation filed in t$is 'ourt was an appli'ation for a de'laration as to t$e 5alidit& of arriage6 An appli'ation for de'laration as to 5alidit& or dissolution or annul ent a& 3e ade pursuant to s 11<: see s +%3( )) definition of BMatri onial CauseB6 BT$e Matri onial Causes A't 1-*-B did not $a5e ."6 arriage wit$ C %$ereinafter referred R w$o was 3orn on !" Januar& 1-..urisdi'tion to a9e a de'laration of 5alidit& of arriage: see definition of BMatri onial CauseB %3( of s * and also r <1!6 De'larations of 5alidit& of arriage $a5e 3een ade in 3ot$ England and Canada: Stoc holder and Stoc holder %1-<+( 1 EER <4*= Aldrich and Aldrich ! >1-4"? A !"1= "ureshi and "ureshi >1-.
dissol5ed: #arr and #arr >1-**? ! All ER 41= Adams and Adams >1-41? A 1""6 2ut it $as 3een $eld in England t$at a nullit& suit is a proper et$od of $a5ing a arriage de'lared to 3e 5oid and t$at no de'laration pro'eedings 'ould 3e entertained: see $ar%Shefi v $ar%Shefi &No '( >1-*<? A 141 and )assim v )assim >1-4!? A !!+6 #n )assim*s case+ supra Or rod J8 as $e t$en was8 referring to t$e .).udg ent8 upon w$et$er t$e respondent is or is not a wo an6B #n t$at 'ase t$e respondent to an appli'ation for nullit& $ad 3een registered at 3irt$ as a ale and $ad in 1-4.e't) atter are entitled e.urisdi'tion of t$e t$en pro3ate8 di5or'e and ad iralt& Jurisdi'tion8 said: BT$e . undergone an operation for t$e re o5al of t$e testi'les8 ost of t$e s'rotu and 'onstru'tion of an artifi'ial 5agina6 1in'e t$e operation t$e respondent li5ed as a wo an6 T$en in De'e 3er 1-4< t$e petitioner filed a petition for a de'laration t$at t$e arriage was null and 5oid 3e'ause t$e respondent was a person of t$e ale se78 or alternati5el& for a de'ree of nullit& on t$e ground of eit$er in'apa'it& or wilful refusal to 'onsu ate8 :is :onour said at p 1.urisdi'tion is not a atter of dis'retion6 Eit$er part& and8 indeed8 t$ird parties $a5ing an interest in t$e su3.urisdi'tion of t$is 'ourt to deal wit$ arriages 5oid a. initio e7ists Duite independentl& of t$e Rules of t$e 1upre e Court and unli9e t$at .-8 indi'ated t$at $e did not wis$ to 'ontest t$e appli'ation for nullit& or file an& answer or affida5it in repl&6 .he la$ to (e a))lied T$e law to 3e applied in deter ining w$et$er or not t$is arriage is 5oid is t$at at t$e date of t$e Schmidt %1-.ett >1-.48 supra:)) T$e Duestion t$en 3e'o es8 w$at is eant 3& t$e word @wo an@ in t$e 'onte7t of a @legal se7@ of t$e respondent at large6 :a5ing regard to t$e essentiall& arriage8 for # a not 'on'erned to deter ine t$e 28 ALR 524 at 528 $etero)se7ual '$ara'ter of t$e relations$ip w$i'$ is 'alled arriage8 t$e 'riteria ust8 in & .1? A "< at 1.udg ent8 3e 3iologi'al8 for e5en t$e ost e7tre e degree of trans)se7ualis in a ale or t$e ost se5ere $or onal i 3alan'e w$i'$ 'an e7ist in a person wit$ ale '$ro oso es8 ale gonads and ale genitalia8 'annot reprodu'e a person w$i'$ is naturall& 'apa3le of perfor ing t$e essential role of a wo an in arriage6 #n ot$er words8 t$e law s$ould adopt in t$e first pla'e8 t$e first t$ree of t$e do'tors@ 'riteria8 ie8 t$e '$ro oso al8 gonadal and genital tests8 and if all t$ree are 'ongruent8 deter ine t$e se7 for t$e purpose of arriage a''ordingl&8 and ignore an& operati5e inter5ention6 T$e real diffi'ulties8 of 'ourse8 will o''ur if t$ese t$ree 'riteria are not 'ongruent6 #n t$is 'ase t$e $us3and8 after surger&8 e7$i3ited as a ale in two of t$e t$ree 'riteria6 :owe5er t$e '$ro oso al .ett v #or.he gro&nds T$e grounds for a 5oid arriage were t$ose 'ontained in s 1"%1( of Bt$e Matri onial Causes A't 1-*-B and as # appre$end t$e su3 ission of 'ounsel for t$e wife8 t$e ground upon w$i'$ $e is rel&ing is s 1"%1(%d(:)) t$e 'onsent of eit$er of t$e parties is not a real 'onsent 3e'ause)) arriage: Schmidt and 1i) 1ii) 666 that part0 is mista en as to the identit0 of the other part08 or as to t$e nature of t$e 'ere on& perfor ed=B %e p$asis ine( T$e ground of identit& is in & opinion ade out in t$at t$e wife was 'onte plating i ediatel& prior to arriage and did in fa't 3elie5e t$at s$e was arr&ing8 a ale6 1$e did not in fa't arr& a ale 3ut a 'o 3ination of 3ot$ ale and fe ale and notwit$standing t$at t$e $us3and e7$i3ited as a ale8 $e was in fa't not and t$e wife was ista9en as to t$e identit& of $er $us3and and t$e ground under Bt$e Matri onial Causes A'tB is ade out6 2ut t$ere is in & opinion a furt$er fatal argu ent to t$e e7isten'e of an& arriage6 #n #or.de.urisdi'tion to find ot$er t$an t$e arriage was no arriage and de'lare in a''ordan'e wit$ / !* t$at t$e arriage 3e a3solutel& null and 5oid6 :a5ing 'o e to t$at 'on'lusion8 # suggested to 'ounsel for t$e wife t$at an appli'ation for a de'laration of nullit& s$ould 3e filed6 :e did so and # ade 'ertain 'onditions as to ser5i'e6 T$e $us3and8 3& an affida5it filed on " Mar'$ 1-.*!6 .4? /LC -. ALR <4< = >1-.4( 1 /a LR 118<** = 1.48 Or ord J %as $e t$en was( said: B1in'e arriage is essentiall& a relations$ip 3etween an and wo an t$e 5alidit& of t$e arriage in t$is 'ase depends8 in & .itio .ustitiae to a de'laration on proof of t$e ne'essar& fa'ts6 T$is 'on'lusion is strongl& reinfor'ed 3& an e7a ination of t$e wording of t$e order in w$i'$ a de'ree of nullit& is drawn up6 T$e de'ree is itself a de'laration6B 28 ALR 524 at 52/ T$e /a il& Court $as no 'o peting rules as referred to in t$is e7tra't6 # a is itself a de'laration: see / !*6 of t$e opinion $owe5er t$at a de'ree of nullit& # a satisfied t$at on'e fa'ts are pro5ed to esta3lis$ t$at t$e arriage is 5oid8 t$e 'ourt $as no .
ot 2ol 333 Solicitors* Journal at p !1<8 w$ere t$e petitioner8 a widow8 arried t$e respondent8 a person 9nown as Jo$n Da5id Tal3ot8 w$o purported to 3e a 3a'$elor 3ut was in fa't a wo an8 dis'o5ered t$e true state of affairs on t$e da& after t$e 'ere on& 3ut li5ed wit$ t$e respondent for a3out one &ear6 1$e instituted pro'eedings of nullit&6 Or rod J was of t$e opinion t$at t$ere was no arriage6 Or rod J in 3ot$ of t$ese 'ases i ported into $is .? A !1. at !!+6 # a satisfied on t$e e5iden'e t$at t$e $us3and was neit$er an nor wo an 3ut was a 'o 3ination of 3ot$8 and a arriage in t$e true sense of t$e word as wit$in t$e definition referred to a3o5e 'ould not $a5e ta9en pla'e and does not e7ist6 #n t$ose 'ir'u stan'es)) 1rder 16 T$at t$e appli'ation for de'laration of 5alidit& of !6 T$at a de'ree of nullit& is pronoun'ed6 Messrs ) ! Shine 4 Dean for t$e appli'ant6 J A 1EEELL 1OL#C#TOR arriage is dis issed6 .indi'ations are t$at $e is a fe ale6 T$is atter loo ed large in t$e inds of t$e edi'al pra'titioners w$o 'arried out t$e surgi'al pro'edures upon t$e $us3and and t$eir opinions were t$at $e s$ould 3e transfor ed into a ale rat$er t$an a fe ale sin'e $e $ad for a 'onsidera3le nu 3er of &ears 3een treated as a ale6 1u3seDuent edi'al pra'ti'e appears to 'ast so e dou3ts upon t$is6 #n 1al.udg ents a definition of B arriageB w$i'$ is t$at B arriage is essentiall& a union 3etween a an and a wo anB6 T$ere does not appear in eit$er Bt$e Marriage A'tB or Bt$e Matri onial Causes A't 1-*-B8 as at t$e date of t$e arriage8 a definition of w$at a arriage is8 3ut in s +4%1( of t$e Marriage A't8 t$e following words are used:)) Marriage8 a''ording to law in Australia8 is t$e union of a life6B #denti'al words are used in s 4-%!( also6 an and a wo an to t$e e7'lusion of all ot$ers8 5oluntaril& entered into for # a unaware of t$e law to w$i'$ t$ese words refer8 3ut # $a5e no $esitation in sa&ing t$at t$e definition of B arriageB as understood in C$ristendo is t$e 5oluntar& union of one an and one wo an to t$e e7'lusion of all ot$ers for life6 1ee Nachimson v Nachimson >1-<.ot v 1al.
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