Recognition of Muslim Marriages In South Africa: A Conflicts Perspective

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The general law of South Africa has always been in marked conflict with Muslim law in sensitive areas. At the same time, development of its common law was dramatically redirected when the new constitutional era dawned. However, the dialogue between community and law, the social context of legal rules and the superordinate values in the Bill of Rights indicate that public policy does not resort in the Constitution alone. The article considers the judicial powers to further the development of unofficial religious laws and the proposed draft bill on Muslim marriages in the light of an external conflict of laws dimension (which is lacking in the proposed legislation). It also takes another look at the inability of conflict of laws to respond to cultural diversity more deeply.


Keywords: Unofficial Religious Laws, Muslim Marriage, Conflict of Laws, Cultural Diversity
Stream: Identity and Belonging; the Politics of Diversity; Globalisation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
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Dr. Hendrika C. Roodt

Lecturer, School of Law, University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen, UK

Christa Roodt taught conflict of laws and comparative law at the University of South Africa before joining the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She takes an active interest in methodological pluralism, management of diversity and legal integration. Her interest in conflict of laws cuts across theory, doctrine and method, and she has explored some of the implications of cultural heritage law for conflict of laws. Since the broad themes in her research lie at the intersection of legal systems, traditions, cultures and paradigms, she finds contemporary research topics related to culture and law appealing, and she has already published on issues that are of relevance to cultural planning in South Africa. In view of the hybrid nature of South African law and the secular nature of South African society based on a written Constitution, the starting point of much of her research is ‘trans-systemic’ to some extent.

Ref: D08P0048