August 01, 2012
A SYDNEY man who spurned his wife must pay her $50,000 under a dowry agreement, the NSW Supreme Court has ruled.
In what appears to be the first Australian case of its kind, Associate Justice Joanne Harrison dismissed Mostafa Mohamed's appeal against a court decision that he honour an agreement to pay his former wife, Neima Mohamed, a $50,000 dowry because he initiated separation proceedings. He must pay the dowry and his former wife's legal costs.
''This appeal raises the current issue of the way agreements based on religious and cultural tradition should be dealt with in our society, and it appears there is not Australian case law on this topic,'' Justice Harrison noted.
The court heard the couple were married under Islamic law in 2004 and intended to marry under Australian law. The dowry or 'Moackar Sadak' is ''a payment designed to provide for a wife when she is no longer required under sharia law to be financially maintained by her husband'', the judgment said.