The Fundamental Right of Marriage in the Constitutions of European Countries

  • Sarolta Molnár Faculty of Law, Pázmány Péter Catholic University
Keywords: marriage, constitution, comparative law, Europe, fundamental right of marriage, same-sex marriage, traditional marriage


This study aims to present an overview the position of marriage in the constitutions of European countries. First, the origin of marriage as a fundamental right is looked at from a historical perspective, leading to different supranational instruments’ declarations. Subsequently, different approaches of the constitutions of European countries are scrutinised and classified depending on what protection, if any, is given to marriage. The spectrum spreads from defining marriage as protected by declaring it as a fundamental right to the lack of constitutional mention. For this broad overview, the scope of this work is based on the fact that all of these countries are parties to the Council of Europe, and the Rome Convention of 1950. Finally, a short exploration of some of the countries’ constitutional jurisprudence is carried out regarding the most controversial topics concerning the fundamental right to marriage.