Is royal marriage legal?/Königliche Hochzeit legal?

Guardian article.

Die Guardian berichtet über rechtliche Probleme mit der Charles-Camilla-Hochzeit. Nicht nur muss bei einer Zivilzeremonie die Öffentlichkeit eingelassen werden – auch wenn die Hochzeit nicht im Standesamt stattfindet – sondern es ist jetzt nicht mal klar, ob Mitglieder der königlichen Familie überhaupt standesamtlich getraut werden dürfen.

Zum Eherecht: in England (ich will hier nichts über Schottland behaupten) gibt es zwei Formen der Trauung – kirchlich und “civil”. Technisch bedeutet kirchlich nur anglikanisch, während Trauungen in anderen Kirchen oder Religionen als zivil, also standesamtlich gelten. Weniger technisch gesehen, heiratet man in einer Kirche oder einem Standesamt, nicht (wie in Deutschland) immer im Standesamt und manchmal zusätzlich noch in der Kirche.

Die Guardian zitiert Dr. Stephen Cretney, der Autor von einem der bekanntesten Studientexte zu Familienrecht und auch von einer Geschichte des Familienrechts im 20. Jahrhundert.

bq. Preparations for the wedding had already taken a farcical turn yesterday after Dr Cretney and other experts raised the question of whether the marriage was actually legal under existing law. Dr Cretney argues that members of the royal family have no power under marriage law to contract civil marriages.

bq. He called on the government to introduce a one-sentence bill authorising royals to marry in civil ceremonies to remove any doubts about the legality of the marriage.

bq. Doubts voiced by Dr Cretney centre on the 1949 Marriage Act, a consolidation of the law on marriage. The earlier Marriage Act of 1836, which allowed civil marriages in England and Wales for the first time, said nothing in it “shall extend to the marriage of any of the royal family.”

bq. The 1949 act worded the provision differently, saying that nothing in that act should affect “any law or custom relating to the marriage of members of the royal family”.

bq. Lord Falconer told the Mail on Sunday that this meant there was no need for royals to post banns or obtain a licence, but left them free to marry in a civil ceremony.

Language problems in job applications/Referendare bewerben sich in der Fremdsprache

Im referendars-gemeinschafts-weblog schreibt Clemens Kochinke, der Bewerbungen für Wahlstation USA empfängt, von Verständnisschwierigkeiten:

bq. Hinter der verunglückten Fassade der unverständlich formulierten Bewerbung steckt oft ein hervorragender Jurist.

Und ins Englische übersetzen ist noch schwieriger als auf Englisch schreiben, und das geht auch nicht immer gut!

German anti-spam law and weblogs

A bill has been introduced into the German parliament to reduce email spam. Whether it will have any effect or not remains to be seen.
I was a bit worried when I read in Stu Savory’s blog that all private weblogs have to have an Impressum now. I have one anyway, but I know that’s EU law, perhaps more strictly enforced in Germany than Britain – it was not nice to think of Germany upping the ante on its own.

I enquired at Peter Müller’s weblog about the law, where there was one entry on the topic, and he wrote a second entry fairly certain that the law as to weblogs hasn’t changed.

Here’s a rough translation of the muepe entry:

bq. After the comment on the first entry on this topic, I looked at the bill in question (Bt-Drucks. 15/4835 v. 15.02.2005 “Entwurf eines Zweiten Gesetzes zur Änderung des Teledienstegesetzes (Anti-Spam-Gesetz)”, PDF) in detail. In particular I wanted to answer the question whether, as one weblog claims, this bill gives rise to a duty for all websites, and therefore all weblogs, to have a page with contact and legal details (Impressum).
In my opinion that is not the case.
Firstly, § 7 of the Telecommunications Act (Telekommunikationsgesetz) is to be amended, and this applies only to those offering services in connection with commercial communications. Those who previously had no duty to have an Impressum under § 6 of the Telecommunications Act will have no duty as a result of the amendment of § 7 either.
The purpose of the bill is different:

bq. The amendments relate to the following measures:
– introduction of a prohibition on disguising or concealing the true identity of the sender in the header of a commercial email,
– making it clear that it is not enough for the commercial character of an item to be evident from the body of the text, but that it may not be disguised or concealed in the subject either,
– the broadening of the definition of the regulatory offence in § 12 of the Telecommunications Act when there is an infringement of the prohibition of disguising or concealing the secnder,
– introduction of a regulatory offence when there is an infringement of the prohibition of disguising or concealing the commercial nature of an electronic message in the subject.

bq. If, therefore, there is no general duty to have an Impressum arising from another bill, the previous rules continue to apply. Information on them can be found here:

The whole thing came via TEFL Smiler, whom I rather attacked, quite unfairly. Sorry about that, David. I could just imagine the story travelling through the whole Web in an ever more distorted fashion.

Morganatic marriage/Ehe zur linken Hand

Recently, Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words newsletter took up the word morganatic. I’ve never been quite clear about the term, and no wonder – it turns out to be a German concept. Ehe zur linken Hand and Morgengabe mean slightly more to me.

What I didn’t know but Google will reveal is how often the word has been mentioned in the press recently in connection with Charles and Camilla. But apparently it was out of the question, in part because it is not a British tradition and in part because a morganatic marriage to Mrs Simpson was suggested by Edward VIII as a way for him to be king while married to a divorcee.

bq. Morganatic marriage was originally and mainly a German custom. It was marriage between a high-ranking man and a woman of lower rank (rarely the other way round) in which the woman keeps her former status and in which any children of the marriage are not allowed to inherit the property of their father or his rank or titles (his dignities, in the jargon of this esoteric legal field).

bq. Another name for it was left-handed marriage, because the custom was that at the altar the husband extended his left hand to the bride, not his right, as a mark of their unconventional union.

Quinion, together with the OED and Hermann Paul’s Deutsches Wörterbuch, confirms that the Latin morganaticum must have come from the older German word for Morgengabe, the present that the husband gives his wife the morning after the marriage, and that in a morganatic marriage the wife and children received only the Morgengabe.

Literary translation blog/Weblog Literaturübersetzung EN>DE

There’s a discussion started by Kaltmamsell at Vorspeisenplatte as to whether comments in a weblog are covered by freedom of speech. I think I’ll let Udo speak for me there. In my private weblog I can do what I want with the comments. And even if I couldn’t, insults are not the right kind of speech.

But via Kaltmamsell I found a new antville weblog, is a blog, by literary translator Isabel Bogdan. She has an old weblog of the same title too at (only about one month old, though).

Pictures of the Übersetzerkollegiumlibrary in Straelen.

Webcam fängt Serieneinbrecher

BBC News berichtet, dass ein Serieneinbrecher über ein Webcam identifiziert wurde. Er hat zwar den Rechner auch gestohlen, aber die Bilder wurden automatisch an eine E-Mail-Adresse weitergeleitet. (Mit Bildern)

bq. Magistrates heard Park, who has more than 13 previous convictions for theft, had stolen computer equipment and other property with a value of nearly £4,000 from Mr Grisby’s study.

bq. He committed the offence in February while on bail after being charged with an attempted burglary in Ely, Cambridgeshire, in August.

bq. “The webcam made our job really easy,” added DS Page. “It was a pleasure to show him the pictures and see his expression when we interviewed him.”

(Via a comment from Anna K. on Desbladet)