The blanket ban on child marriages violates the Basic Law. According to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, the legislature is not prevented from the outset from ordering the nullity of such marriages without examining the individual case.
However, the judges are currently missing the possibility of being able to conduct the marriage as an effective marriage under German law after reaching the age of majority. The regulation must be revised by mid-2024. (Az. 1 BvL 7/18)
The contested regulation stipulates that a marriage concluded abroad is automatically ineffective if one of the partners was not yet 16 years old. The regulation was part of the "Act to Combat Child Marriages" that the black-red federal government introduced in 2017 against the background of the increased number of refugees. At that time, an increasing number of very young married couples came to Germany. The authorities and courts had dealt with it differently.
In 2018, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) had concerns about applying the provision in the case of a Syrian couple. The judges had therefore asked the constitutional court to review it.