The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
We write to comment on the contribution of Glezer and Devido, which we found to be a cogent synopsis of the extant scholarship on the capacity to marry. The article raises several important matters that merit further consideration. In this commentary, we expand the discussion, emphasizing cultural and regional contexts. We submit that this is an important policy area, given the lack of capacity criteria for marriage both domestically and internationally.
The article by Glezer and Devido is grounded in European legal and social history and its evolution in the Americas. Much of this history has been particularly shaped by British common law. In the Caribbean, this influence was of greater strength and duration because of a longer term colonial period. In fact, much national legislation in the Caribbean has roots in older British law and precedent exercised in the colonies for the better part of 300 years in many cases. For the colonial period, law evolved under the rubric of occupation. Postcolonial jurisprudence has developed more independently, but retains many elements of British law as a foundation.