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WEB 1063 The Phenomenon of Transnational Marriage Abandonment

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The webinar will look at the phenomenon of transnational marriage abandonment, a form of domestic abuse which involves migrant women being deliberately stranded abroad, and how immigration lawyers can assist stranded spouses to return to the UK. 


1)    The phenomenon of transnational marriage abandonment: what is it and what common experiences are reported by stranded spouses
2)    Litigation relating to the phenomenon of transnational marriage abandonment: what has been done in family law and what needs to be done in immigration law 
3)    Assisting victims of transnational marriage abandonment to return to the UK: theory and practice  


13:45 – 14:00 Registration 
14:00 – 14:10 Introductions
14:10 – 14:40 The phenomenon of transnational marriage abandonment: common experiences and why it is a form of domestic abuse  and SBS’ work on TMA in the UK (Pragna)
14:40 – 15:15 Family Law options and case studies (Sulema) 
15.15 to 15. 35 Break
15.35 to 16.10 Immigration options and case studies (Nath)  
16.10 to 17.00 Q&A
17.00 end


January 26
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Tags:
Tutor details:
Pragna Patel, Southall Black Sisters, Nath Gbikpi, Wesley Gryk Solicitors LLP and Sulema Jahangir, Dawson Cornwell
Tutor biographies:
Pragna Patel is a founding member of the Southall Black Sisters (SBS) and Women Against Fundamentalism. She worked as a co-ordinator and senior case worker for SBS from 1982 to 1993 when she left to train as a solicitor. In 2009 she returned to SBS as its Director. She has been centrally involved in some of SBS’ most important cases and campaigns around domestic violence, immigration and religious fundamentalism. She has also written extensively on race, gender and religion.

Pragna and her colleagues at SBS have been leading campaigns to raise awareness of transnational marriage abandonment and to reform family and immigration law, policy and practice to address the needs of survivors. They have trained family law judges, worked with the previous President of the Family Division and have brought together immigration law practitioners  to form a working group to work with the Home Office with a view to reforming immigration law. 

Nath Gbikpi is a solicitor at Wesley Gryk Solicitors and a co-convenor of the ILPA Family and Personal Working Group. Her practice covers a wide range of immigration, asylum and nationality law, with particular emphasis on applications based on partnership, family and private life; asylum on the basis of sexual identity; and the rights of Europeans and their family members. 

Nath has assisted several victims of transnational marriage abandonment to return to the UK. She volunteers for Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre and UKLGIG; writes regularly for Free Movement; and is a JCWI trustee.

Sulema is a dual qualified solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales and an Advocate of the High Courts in Pakistan. Sulema undertakes all aspects of domestic and international family law including child abduction, child custody and the financial consequences of divorce and separation. She also acts for the victims of forced marriages, abandoned spouses and honour based violence. She has acted in several reported cases in superior courts in both England and Pakistan. Sulema is a specialist in Pakistani family law and has provided expert reports to courts across jurisdictions.

Prior to joining Dawson Cornwell, Sulema was a partner at AGHS Law Associates (the law firm of Asma Jahangir and Hina Jilani) which is the leading law firm specialising in family law and human rights work in Pakistan. In Pakistan she acted in a range of family and constitutional cases in the High Court and also assisted in advising parliamentary bodies in drafting laws for the protection of women.

Sulema is a regular speaker at conferences and appears on television, including BBC, ITV, Pakistani media channels, the radio and in the press. She has both written and been featured in articles for newspapers (including the Sunday Times, Dawn Newspaper, the News on Sunday) and journals on legal topics in Pakistan and in the United Kingdom. She was described as an “unsung hero” by Newsweek Pakistan.

Sulema is a visiting lecturer for “Gender and Development”, part of the MPhil course at the Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge.
Concessionary Training Prices: £50
Member Training Prices: £100
Non Member Training Prices: £180
CPD Hours:
Aim of Course:
To raise awareness regarding the phenomenon of transnational abandonment; highlight the issues with the current rules and how they can prevent stranded spouses from returning to the UK; and share experiences with assisting stranded spouses to return to the UK. 
Spaces Left:
Basic, Intermediate
Immigration law practitioners and others working with migrant victims of domestic abuse.
Webinar with case studies/group discussions