APPLICATION/REQUÊTE N" 11579/85 Janis KHAN v/the UNITED KINGDOM JaGis K}[AN c/ROYAUME-UN I DIECISION of 7 July 1966 on the admissibility of the application . DÉCISION du 7 juillet 1986 sur la reçevabilité de la requête ArBcls 9 of the Convenlio,a : The term "practice" does not cover every act wltich is motivated by a religion er belief. Marriage c.annot he considered simply as a form of expression of ihought, conscience or religion but is governed by the specific provisions of Article 12 . Article 12 of the Convenlion : 77,e obligation to respect the legal marriageable age does not constiture a denial of the right to marry, even if the individual's religion permitc marriage at a younger age. Lawful detention of a married person does not of itself constltme a violation of the right to found a famity. Article9 dela Convention : Le niot «pratiques» ne reéouvre pas touslesactes qui ont ponr mobile une religion ou atne conviction. Le mariage ne peut être considére' uniquement comme une forme d'expression de la pensée, de la conscience ou de la religion . IL est régi par les dispositions spécifiques de l'article 12. ' Article 12 de la Convention : Ne constitue pas un refbs du droit au mariage l'obligation de respecter l'âge nubile légal, mênee si la religion de 1'Lntéressé autorise le mariage à un âge inféreeur. La détention régalière d'une personne mariée ne cr.nstitue pas, en elle-même, une violation du droii' de fonde' une famille. - 253 THE FACTS (français : p. 256) The applicant is a British citizen, born in 1961 and resident in Huddersfield . The facts, as submitted by the applicant, may be summarised as follows .Theapplicant,aMuslim,metandfelinlovewithaMuslimgirlundertheag eof16 . They requested the girl's father's consent to marry, which was refused on ' three occasions . The girl left home with the applicant's assistance and they under-? went an Islamic marriage eereinony on 5 Novembei- 1982 . Under Islamic law, a . Muslim girl niay marry without her parents' consent on attaining the age of 12 years .Thegirlwasthen141/2yearsofageandtheaplicant21 . The couple,, lived in London for approximately 14 months until on 21 December 1983 the girl's . father forcibly removed her . The applicant was charged with abduction of a girl from the possession of the father contrary to Section 20 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 ("the 1956 Act") and with sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16 contrary to Section 6 (1) of the 1956 Act . The applicant was tried on 19 June 1984 and sentenced to nine months' imprisonment on the second count . The applicant appealed to the Court of Appeal but his appeal was refused by a single judge on 20 August 1984 . He did not appeal to the full Court of Appeal since he feared the loss of time counting towards his sentence and since legal aid was not available . COMPLAINTS Article 9 The applicant claims that he was prevented from manifesting his religion through his marriage under Islamic law by the operation of Section 6 (1) of the, Sexual Offences Act 1956 . Article 12 The applicant claims that the custodial sentence imposed on him under the 1956 Act prevented hini consummating his marriage and from foundinga family. Anicle 14 The applicant claims that he was discriminated against in that the judge failed to take into consideration his religion, under which it is considered lawful for a girL to marry on attaining-the ageof 12 yearswithout her parents' consent . THE LAW (Extract) 1. The applicant complains that hé has been prevented from manifesting his' religion through his Islamic marriage by the ôperation of the legislation which makes it an offence to have sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16 . By Islamié; 254 law, the applicant may marry a girl without her parents' eonsent if she has reached the age of 12. He also complains that the custodial sentence, imposed on him prevente,d him from exercising his right to marry and found aFamily .ItistruethatArticle9securestoeveryonetherighttoHeedomofthought , conscience and religion and tomanifest their religion or belief in worship, teaching, practico or observance . However, the term "practice" as employed in A .rticle 9 para. I does not cover each act which may be motivated or influenced by a religion or belie.f. While the applicant's religion may allow the niarriage of girls at the rnge ,of 12, marriage cannot be considered sintply as a form of expression of lhought, conscience or religion, but is governed specifically by Article 12 (,ee eg . No. 6167773, Dec. 18.12 .74, D R. 1 p. 64). The Commission therefore mmst examine the applicant's eoatplainis under Article L . Article 12 sates that : "Men and vromen of marriageable age have the right to rnarry and to-found a fan'aily, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right ." Tae (:ommission recalls that under English law, a girl may lawfully rnarry with her parents' consent on attaining the age o F 16 and without their c :onsent on reaching the age of 18 . A inarriage contracted with a girl under the age of 16 is invalid and sexual intereourse with a girl under 16 is an offence under Section 6 of the Sexual Offences Act 1955, the provision ander which the applicant was lawfully sentgnced to nine months' iinprisonment . The applicant's girl rriend was therefore not of the marriageable age required by internal law . Since the right to marty guaranteeA under Article 12 is subject to the internal laws governing the exercise of this right, the Commission concludes that in the circumstances of the case there is no appearance of a vielation of the rights under the Convention and in, panicular of Articles 9 and 12 . As regards the applicant's eomplaint that the custodial sentence itself preven.ted him consutnmating his marriage and founcling a family, the Cotnmission recalls that 'even if the marriage was considered valid under national law, lawful detention must 'of necessity interfere in the relations of a married couple and does not of itself eonstittue a violat.ion of Article 12 (see eg . No. 8166/73, Dec. 3.10.78,]>.R. 13 p. 241) . It accordingly follows that this part of the application must be dismissed as ~manifestlÿ ill-founded within the tneaning of Article 27 para . 2 ofYheCônvéntion . 255