South African Constitutional Court Confirmation of Supreme Court of Appeal Order to Amend and Enact Legislation to Recognize and Regulate Muslim Marriages (Jun. 28, 2022)

On June 28, 2022, the Constitutional Court of South Africa confirmed the Supreme Court of Appeal order that the state must amend existing legislation or enact new legislation to recognize and regulate the consequences of Muslim marriages. The order declared certain provisions of the Marriage Act and the Divorce Act unconstitutional due to the persistent non-recognition of Muslim marriages, or marriages solemnized in accordance with the tenets of sharīʿa, that have resulted in the infringement of fundamental rights of parties to Muslim marriages, and Muslim women and children in particular. The Constitutional Court confirmed this order stating that “the common law definition of marriage is declared to be inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid to the extent that it excludes Muslim marriages.”

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