Thursday, January 21, 2016

Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court Says Marriage Under Age 18 Is Banned Without Exceptions

Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court yesterday held that the country's Constitution bars marriage below the age of 18 for either males or females. According to NewsdzeZimbabwe, the court held that  Sec. 78(1) of Zimbabwe's Constitution invalidates Sec. 22(1) of the Marriage Act that allowed girls (with consent of their parents or guardians) to marry at age 16 and boys to marry at age 18, and in addition allowed either to marry at a younger age with the consent of the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  The court held that the Constitution "sets 18 years as the minimum age of marriage...." and that the Constitution "permits no exception for religious, customary or cultural practices that permit child marriage, nor does it allow for exceptions based on the consent of public official, parents or guardians."