Prof. Joanna Grossman Discusses Legal Issues Surrounding Polygamy in Libya

Joanna L. Grossman, Professor of Law

Polygamy in Libya — and beyond

By Tracy Clark-Flory

November 5, 2011



It’s critical to understand the specific context in this case. Contrary to many reports, it isn’t that polygamy was previously illegal in Libya – it’s just that it came with serious restrictions. As Joanna Grossman, a law professor at Hofstra University who has written about legal issues surrounding plural marriage, tells me, “The fact that the [former] polygamy rules in Libya, which require consent of the first wife given in front of a judge and the showing by the man of an affirmative need for an additional wife, has resulted in relatively low rates of polygamy is telling,” she says. “Wives clearly do not support polygamy in large numbers and must have some power to refuse consent.” Returning to unrestricted polygamy “would deprive women of any control over their husbands’ acquisition of multiple wives and reduce their intra-family power, as well their power in society,” Grossman says.

Read the full article at salon.com.