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Iraqi Penal Code No. 111 of 1969 (selected provisions related to women) – Part 2: Offences against the Public Welfare – Chapter 8: Social Offences – Section 4: Offences involving the family

Section 4: Offences involving the family

Paragraph 376 – Any person who obtains a marriage certificate knowing it to be invalid for any reason in secular or canonical law and any person who issues such certificate knowing the marriage to be invalid is punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 7 years or by detention. The penalty will be a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years if the spouse, in respect of whom the reason for the invalidity has arisen, conceals that fact from his partner or consummates the marriage on the basis of the invalid certificate.

(i) As amended by Paragraph 8 of Law No 207 (1970).

Paragraph 377

(1) An adulteress and the man with whom she commits adultery are punishable by detention. The offender is assumed be aware of the marriage unless he can prove that he was not capable of being aware of it.

(2) The same penalty applies if the husband commits adultery in the conjugal home.

Paragraph 378

(1) No action for adultery may be brought against either spouse nor may any measures be taken in respect of that action except on the basis of an accusation by the other partner. Such accusation will not be accepted in the following circumstances:

(a)  If it is made after 3 months from the day when the complainant first became aware of the offence.

(b)  If the complainant is content to resume married life despite having”become aware of the offence.

(c)  If it is established that the offence was committed with the consent of the complainant.

(2) By spouse in this Paragraph is meant any person who meets that description at the time of the commission of the offence or who causes to do so following the offence. The right of the husband to bring an action for adultery committed by his wife continues for 4 months after he has divorced her.

Paragraph 379

(1) An action for adultery becomes void and the civil right of action lapses with the death of the complainant or if he drops the charges against the offending party or with the agreement of the complainant to resume normal relations with the offending party before a final judgment of the case is made. The dropping of the charges by the husband against the offending spouse is considered also to apply to the charges against the man with whom she has committed adultery.

(2) A spouse may therefore prevent the implementation of the sentence imposed on the other spouse. If the complainant dies, any of the children of the accused spouse or guardian of such child may prevent the implementation of the sentence.

Paragraph 380

Any husband who incites his wife to commit adultery and she does so on the basis of such incitement is punishable by detention.

Next: Part 2: Offences against the Public Welfare – Chapter 8: Social Offences – Section 5: Offences involving adoption, the care of minors, endangering the young or old and the desertion of the family

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