Judging the Charter

The Charter in judicial practise with a special focus on the case of protection of refugees and asylum seekers

Article 9 Right to marry and to found a family


The right to marry and the right to found a family shall be guaranteed in accordance with the national laws governing the exercise of these rights.


This Article is based on Article 12 of the ECHR, which reads as follows: ‘Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family according to the national laws governing the exercising of this right.’ The wording of the Article has been modernised to cover cases in which national legislation recognises arrangements other than marriage for founding a family. This Article neither prohibits nor imposes the granting of the status of marriage to unions between people of the same sex. This right is thus similar to that afforded by the ECHR, but its scope may be wider when national legislation so provides.

Official Journal of the European Union C 303/17 - 14.12.2007