THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS BILL, 2003

Short Title: 

THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS BILL, 2003

Number of Bill: 

2003

Date introduced: 

2 January 2003

THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS BILL

 
 

THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS BILL, 2003 MEMORANDUM.

1 . The object of this Bill is to reform and consolidate the law relating to marriage, separation and divorce; to provide toy the types of recognised marriages in Uganda, marital rights and duties, grounds for breakdown of marriage, rights of parties on dissolution of marriage and for other connected Purposes..

  1. The Bill is the product of a report of a comprehensive study conducted by the Uganda Law Reform Commission in which all relevant stakeholders were consulted and several seminars and workshops were held and which takes full account of previous similar studies carried out in Uganda including -

-The Report on the Commission of Inquiry into Marriage. Divorce and Status of Women (Kalema Report) 1965; — The FIDA-U Report on the draft Domestic Relations Bill. 1980: and

-The ministry of Women in Development, Culture and Youth Report on the draft 1980 Domestic Relations Bill, 1980 (WID working paper and Tororo Report) 1993.

  1. In the report from which the Bill emanated, the Commission has made recommendations which will result in a law that is fair and achieves social justice; addresses the issues of poverty: protects the human rights of all members of the family; protects the. institution of marriage and the family; is enforceable and accessible to the Uganda population: and is in line with the Constitution and legal obligations of Uganda.
  2. The Bill seeks to cover all types of marriages obtaining in Uganda and therefore seeks to consolidate and replace all the family laws listed below -­
  3. the Customary marriage (Registration) (Cap 248);
  4. the Divorce Act (Cap 249):
  5. the Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act (Cap 250);
  6. the Marriage Act (Cap. 25 I);
  7. the Marriage and Divorce of Mohammedans Act (Cap 252); and
  8. the Marriage of Africans Act (Cap 253).
 


 

THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS BILL

 
 
  1. The Bill in particular seeks to conform with the Constitution and specifically deals with the age of marriage, consent to marriage as required by article 31(3) of the Constitution, forms of marriage, solemnisation of marriage, prohibited degrees of relationship for marriage, conditions for polygamy, cohabitation and its legal effect, marriage gifts responsibility for maintenance, sexual rights including the right to sexual intercourse and the offences of adultery, marital rape and demanding the return of marriage gifts property rights and for divorce prescribing no fault divorce otherwise known as irretrievable break down of marriage, to apply to all forms of marriage.
  2. The Bill also deals with widow inheritance and mixed marriages, separation and alimony.
  3. The Bill in sum gives effect to the principle in article 31 (1) of the Constitution that men and women are entitled to equal rights in marriage during marriage and at its dissolution.
  4. Finally, references in the Bill to Acts and sections of Acts in existence before the year 200 I which are now Contained in the revised edition of the Laws of Uganda which was brought into force on 1st October. 2003 by Statutory instrument No. 69 of 2003 is Sit ed tile Attorney General, are now adapted to read as references to the corresponding sections and chapters as contained in the Revised edition.

HAJAT JANET B. MUKWAYA.

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

ARRANGEMENT OF CLAUSES.

PART I—PRELIMINARY.

  1. Short title.
  2. Application and commencement.
  3. Interpretation.

PART II - GENERAL.

  1. Marriage Districts.
  2. Appointment of District Registrars of marriages and Deputy District Registrars of marriages.
 
 

 

 


 

THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS BILL

 
 
  1. Sub - county minister to the Registrars of Marriage.
  2. Office of District Registrars of marriages..
  3. District Marriage Register Book.
  4. Minister of licenses of worship to solemnise marriages.
  5. Recognised Marriages
  6. Ministers Powers to recognise other types of marriages.
  7. Cohabitation.
  8. Cohabitation giving rise to marriage.

PART III - ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF MARRIAGE

  1. Minimum age of marriage.
  2. Consent to marriage.
  3. Widow inheritance prohibited marriage allowed.
  4. Prohibited degrees of relationship.
  5. Status of parties.
  6. Mixed marriages forbidden.
  7. Marriage gifts not an essential requirement
  8. Void marriages.
  9. Voidable marriages.

PART IV- PRELIMINARIES TO A CIVIL OR CHURCH MARRIAGE.

  1. Notice in a civil marriage.
 
 

 

 


 

THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS BILL

 
 
  1. Civil Marriage Notice Book.
  2. Publication of banns in a church marriage.
  3. District Registrar’s marriage license in a civil marriage.
  4. Marriage to take place within three months after the district Registrar’s marriage license or publication of banns.
  5. Minister’s marriage license.

PART V - PRELIMINARIES TO ISLAMIC, HINDU, BAHAI AND CUSTOMARY MARRIAGES.

  1. Marriages under Part V to accord with customs and rites of ethnic group, religion or sect.
  2. Notice of intention to marry.

31 Conditions requisite to contracting a subsequent marriage.

  1. Application to indicate matrimonial and personal property.
  2. Issuing of a marriage license.
  3. Customary marriage license.
  4. Marriage to take place within three months.

PART VI OBJECTIONS.

  1. Application of sect ion 28 of Islamic, Hindu, Bahai and customary marriages.
  2. Objection to issue of marriage license or to marriage.
  3. Objection by person outside Uganda.
  4. District Registrar of Marriages to refer matter to a competent court.
  5. Court to summon parties.
 


 

THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS BILL

 
 
  1. Issuing of commissions.
  2. Procedure on making a decision in objection proceedings.
  3. Appeals from the court’s decision in objection proceedings.

PART VII- SOLEMNISATION OF CHURCH OR CIVIL MARRIAGES.

  1. Solemnisation of a church marriage.
  2. Minister may direct where to solemnise a marriage.
  3. When a church marriage may not he solemnised.
  4. Registration of a church marriage.
  5. Solemnisation of a civil marriage.
  6. Marriage certificates in a civil marriage.
  7. Marriage at an unlicensed place.
  8. Conversion of marriage.
  9. Conversions to comply with preliminaries of a church or civil marriage.
  10. Marriage certificate on conversion of marriage.

PART VIII—SOLEMNISATION OF ISLAMIC, HINDU, BAHAI AND CUSTOMARY MARRIAGES.

  1. Application of section 29 to marriages under Part Viii.
  2. Registration, of Islamic, Hindu and Bahai marriages.
  3. Village local council to he supplied with marriage certificate.
  4. Village local council official to sign marriage certificate in customary marriages.
  5. Fee for the registration of marriage.
 
 

 

 


 

THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS BILL

 
 
  1. Marriages solemnised under special circumstances

PART IX —MATRIMONIAL RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS.

  1. Equal rights to consortium.
  2. Sex without consent of spouse.
  3. Offence of adultery.
  4. Duty to maintain family.
  5. Equality between wives.

65 Types of matrimonial property.

  1. Matrimonial property to he owned in common.
  2. Property acquired before the marriage.
  3. Liability incurred before the marriage.
  4. Contribution to property acquired before or during marriage.
  5. Matrimonial property in a polygamous marriage.
  6. Capacity to acquire separate property.
  7. Disposal of main matrimonial property.

PART X—BREAKDOWN OF MARRIAGE.

  1. Courts’ jurisdiction in matrimonial causes.
  2. Muslims may petition