South African Apex Court Confirms Recognition of Muslim Marriages

The Constitutional Court has confirmed the Supreme Court of Appeal's ruling that the Marriage Act and the Divorce Act are unconstitutional for failing to recognise Muslim marriages, writes Tania Broughton for GroundUp.

The Women's Legal Centre Trust and Muslim Assembly Cape argued that not recognising Muslim marriages left women without legal protection. The Association of Muslim Women of South Africa opposed the application, saying "disgruntled Muslims or modernists" could simply conclude marriages under the Marriage Act.

The Constitutional Court said it was not ruling on the constitutionality of Sharia law but only considering the hardships faced by women and children excluded from the benefits of the two acts. The Constitutional Court has given legal recognition to Muslim women married in terms of Sharia law, and also their children.

InFocus

Constitutional Court of South Africa (file photo).

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