Muslim Marriages Draft Bill

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development invites interested parties to submit any comments they might have on the Muslim Marriages Draft Bill. For full Bill, see attached file.2010-01%20110117muslim-marriages-bill.pdf

Comments on the Bill can be emailed to Mr T Matibe at not later than 15 March 2011.
By way of background, the following:

The Bill emanates from an investigation by the South African Law Reform Commission (the SALRC) on Islamic Marriages and Related Matters. Its report on the matter contains legislative proposals in the form of a Muslim Marriages Bill. The aim of these legislative proposals is to provide statutory recognition of Muslim marriages in order to redress inequities and hardships arising from the non-recognition of these marriages.

The Bill is applicable to persons who adhere to the Muslim faith and who elect to be bound by its provisions. In other words, it contains an opting out provision for persons who do not wish to be bound by it. The need for this legislation finds support in section 15(3) of the Constitution. This section provides that the right to freedom of religion, belief and opinion does not preclude legislation recognising –

(a) marriages concluded under any tradition, or a system of religious, personal or family law; or

(b) systems of personal and family law under any tradition, or adhered to by persons professing a particular religion.

The Bill sets out a statutory framework for the legal recognition of Muslim marriages and their consequences.

Information from the PMG site.

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