Polygyny and Canada's Obligations under International Human Rights Law


International Materials


Regional Treaties

International Treaties



International and Regional Human Rights Tribunals

European Commission on Human Rights

Bibi v. The United Kingdom, Appl. 19628/92 9Dec., 29 June 1992 (upheld the UK Immigration Act 1988 providing that a woman would not be entitled to immigrate to the UK, on the basis of a polygamous marriage, if another woman had already been admitted to the UK as the wife of the same husband; Commission found that there was an interference with the applicant's right to respect for her family life, but held that it was justified for the protection of morals and the rights and freedoms of others)

European Court of Human Rights

Human Rights Committee

Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Comparative Jurisprudence



Bhewa v. Government of Mauritius, [1991] LRC (Const) (religious freedom, as protected by the Mauritius Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, does not allow the Muslim community to apply its own religious law to deny women equal rights within marriage)


Mojekwu v. Mojekwu (1991) NWLR Pt. 194 at 739 (a deceased's brother sought to inherit the deceased's estate to the exclusion of the deceased's daughter; Court applied the “repugnancy to natural approach” in finding against the customary practice)

South Africa

Bhe and Others v. The Magistrate, Khayelitsha and Others Case CCT 49/03; Shibi v Sithole and Others Case CCT 69/03; South African Human Rights Commission and Another v President of the Republic of South Africa and Another Case CCT 50/03 (2004) (South African Constitutional Court) (decision rejecting the application of customary law of primogeniture, but still sensitive to the importance of custom)

United States

Secondary Materials: Books and Monographs

Secondary Materials: Articles