Tuesday 21 January, 2020

Child marriage outlawed; amended Marriage Act proclaimed

The Act to amend the Marriage Act has been proclaimed.

The Office of the President confirmed that the Act was proclaimed on Friday afternoon, hours after the copy of the Miscellaneous Provision (Marriage) Act, No.8 of 2017 was received from Cabinet.

The Act, No. 8 of 2017 is an Act to amend the Marriage Act, Chap.45:01, the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, Chap. 45:2, the Hindu Marriage Act, Chap. 45:3, the Orisa Marriage Act, Chap.45:4 and the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act, Chap.45:51, which raises the legal age of marriage to 18, effectively outlawing child marriage.

The Bill was passed in Parliament June 9, 2017, without amendments, with 35 members voting for, zero against and zero abstentions.

A release from the Office of the President says the Act was first forwarded to the Office of the President on June 20, 2017, and on June 22, 2017, it was assented to by His Excellency the President and returned to the Clerk of the House on the said date.

The release further stated that once assented, the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs drafted and submitted a Note to Cabinet requesting that the Proclamation for the said Act be prepared for the affixing of His Excellency the President ‘s seal and signature.

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