The European Union's highest court on Wednesday ruled that the EU cannot determine the validity of private divorces settled under Islamic sharia law, following a case brought forward by two Syrians living in Germany.

The Court of Justice found that regulation covered only divorces that were pronounced by a national court or under the supervision of a public authority, and a divorce that resulted from a unilateral declaration from one spouse before a religious court, such as the case involved, did not come within the scope of the Rome III Regulation.

The Rome III Regulation, or the European Union Divorce Law Pact, is a regulation concerning the applicable law regarding divorce valid in 16 countries. It dictates which law should be used in cross-border divorces.

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