European court: EU rules don't cover Sharia law divorces

The European Union's top court has ruled that the bloc's divorce regulations don't cover private agreements, throwing a case back to a Munich court to decide whether to recognize a divorce granted under religious Sharia law to a Syrian-German couple.

Raja Mamisch and Soha Sahyouni, who married in Syria and live in Germany, had been granted a divorce in 2013 in Syria in an Islamic Sharia law proceeding. Mamisch applied to have the divorce recognized in Germany and the Munich state court ruled the EU's "Rome III" regulation applied and granted his application.

Sahyouni appealed, and the European Court of Justice ruled Wednesday that Rome III doesn't apply to such "private" divorces.

The court sent the case back to Munich, saying it needs to decide under national law.