I make no  pretence to understand the internal workings of Maltese politics but I am told that the Prime Minister of Malta is not in favour of divorce. What is he to do then given the tragic referendum result? It seems there is a very good answer to this question which also points the way to the elimination of divorce in other countries. The idea of ‘permitting divorce’ is of course completely disingenuous. Marriage is an indissoluble contract whereby the parties unite their property and undertake to live a common life for the sake of procreation. Other than to recognise and reward the fact (a fact quite beyond its power or jurisdiction) what business is it of the state that a man and a woman enter into such a contract? ‘Permitting divorce’ is a euphemism for ‘prohibiting marriage’ which the state has no power to do. Nevertheless in purporting to do so it officially encourages its citizens to betray their children and break their solemn word.

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The only intelligible sense which could be given to a request that the state ‘permit divorce’ therefore is as request that the state recognise and reward dissoluble contracts whereby the parties unite their property and undertake to live a common life for the sake of procreation. Fine, a stupid idea but not impossible. But there is no reason why this should entail withdrawing recognition from indissoluble contracts (i.e. marriages). Let the Maltese state create new dissoluble civil partnerships by which those who wish to reserve the right to betray their children and break their solemn word while they fornicate may be rewarded for doing so. There is no need to prohibit the rest of the citizenry from entering into real marriages or cease to recognise and reward them for doing so. The church of course would not recognise or permit the faithful to enter into the new dissoluble civil partnerships. This twofold system could be introduced anywhere where now ‘divorce is permitted’.

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What then of those Maltese couples who are already in state recognised marriages, are these to be treated as dissoluble or indissoluble? There seems to be an easy solution to this. In the event that either party requests a divorce one need only ask the other party whether she (‘she’ for the sake of the example) wishes to be allowed to remarry. If she does then the property can be split down the middle and both permitted to enter into dissoluble civil partnerships with others (but obviously not to contract an indissoluble one). If she does not then she should be given all her husband’s property as she at least has kept her side of the contract. Such an arrangement seems eminently fair and that after all is all one can ask as the law of contract is really just a matter of the state enforcing natural justice. The state has no properly legislative initiative in this area at all.

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With such an arrangement instead of sinking into line with the rest of the world (for which Christ did not pray) Malta can lead the way in bringing Europe back to natural justice.

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