Parveen v Hussain  EWCA Civ 1434 (I am still in clearing the backlog mode) is an excellent illustration of this most peculiar of issues under conflict of laws, the issue of ‘Vorfrage’, with the Court of Appeal ending up recognising the second marriage of a Pakistani lady, but not her prior foreign divorce expressed by her first husband per Talaq.
The Court of Appeal held that the fact that that divorce is not entitled to recognition under the English rules, does not mean that the woman did not have the capacity to (re)marry: her previous divorce was effective under the law of Pakistan.
Moylan LJ summarises that the issue raised by the appeal is in essence the relationship between capacity to marry rules and divorce recognition rules. :
[In England and Wales] “a person’s capacity to marry is governed by the law of their antenuptial domicile. The recognition of a divorce, whether obtained in “the British Islands” (section 44) or in a “country outside the British Islands” (section 45), is governed by the provisions of the [Family Law Act] FLA 1986. What happens when the two are in conflict? In other words, when a person, in this case the wife, has capacity to marry by the law of her antenuptial domicile, Pakistan, but her previous divorce is not entitled to recognition in England and Wales under the FLA 1986, is priority to be given to the law applicable to capacity to marry or to the law applicable to the recognition of divorces.”
After a first marriage in Pakistan, which ended in 2008 by husband Talaq, the wife remarried. The second husband commenced divorce proceedings in 2018. This led to the pronouncement of a Decree Nisi of divorce in 2019. In or about August 2020, the second husband applied for the Decree Nisi to be rescinded and for the Petition to be dismissed on the basis that the wife remained married to her previous husband at the date of her marriage to the second husband. The husband then issued a nullity Petition in 2021 in which he contended that at “the time of the marriage the (wife) was already lawfully married”. The wife submits that her marriage to the husband is valid because she had capacity to marry under the law of Pakistan which recognised her divorce as having validly determined her previous marriage.
 Per Akhtar v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  1 WLR 421:
“Validity of Marriage
 Under English rules of private international law: (a) the general rule is that the formal validity (i.e. the formalities) of a marriage is governed by the law of the country where the marriage was celebrated, Dicey at para 17R-001; and (b) the general rule is that capacity to marry (or essential validity) is governed by the law of each party’s antenuptial domicile, Dicey at para 17R-057 (now 17R-054). Bigamy is “a matter of capacity”, Dicey at para 17-082 (now 17-079).
 If a marriage is valid in respect of both form and capacity it will be recognised as valid under English law and, as a result, the parties will be recognised as having the status of husband or wife.”
‘Bigamy’ is qualified as a rule of capacity to marry (‘essential validity’ or what the civil law is likely to call substantive validity. Extensive review followed of various authorities, including the well-known Schwebel v Ungar, with the Court of Appeal as in that latter case, giving priority to capacity to marriage. An ordre public exception was rejected on the basis of the wife at all relevant times having been domiciled in and lived in Pakistan.  “The public policy objectives would be sufficiently achieved by denying recognition of the divorce to the wife’s previous husband because of his connections with the UK.”
A super case to teach Vorfrage, qualification and ordre public.