For example, it may conclude that registered cohabitation relationships will be more comprehensively regulated than other forms of cohabitation. In our view, the approach he adopts privileges marriage relationships in a manner that cannot ganbling consistent with the express constitutional prohibition of unfair discrimination on the grounds of marital status. Gambling today Ibrahim Kalin.
Other pastors known to be detained in Iranian prisons include Behnam Irani, who is held in Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj City, one of the toughest jails in the country, some 12 miles west of the nation's capital, Tehran. Iranian Christians fear a court verdict directing prosecutors to pursue the death penalty against Irani for apostasy, said Firouz Khandjani, a council member of the Church of Iran movement to which the pastor belongs.
He urged Christians around the world to sign a petition asking the White House "to take immediate steps to put pressure on the Iranian government to secure the release of Irani. Meanwhile, the UN envoy urged Iraqi leaders to meet to resolve a long-running political crisis that is often linked to the inability of the country's security forces to reduce levels of violence.
As of Monday, people were killed and 1, wounded, making May the deadliest month in at least a year, according to the data, based on reports from security and medical officials. May is the second month in a row in which more than people have been killed, for a total of people in the two months. A wave of attacks, including bombings in Baghdad that mainly targeted Shiite areas, killed 58 people on Monday and wounded , officials said.
Iraq has seen a heightened level of violence since the beginning of the year, coinciding with rising discontent among Iraqi Sunnis that had erupted into protests in late December. Members of Iraq's Sunni minority, which ruled the country from its establishment after World War I until Saddam Hussein's overthrow by US-led forces in , accuse the Shiite-led government of marginalizing and targeting their community.
Sharifi was convicted of raping an year-old woman on December 19 and a year-old woman on Christmas Eve. Last month, he was granted leave to appeal against the sentence for the December 19 rape. The rape occurred after Sharifi struck up a conversation with the drunk year-old woman outside a nightclub in Melbourne's southeast and offered her a lift to a pub to meet with friends who had abandoned her.
The judges also gave weight to the fact Sharifi had driven his victim to her friend's home after the rape, as well as a March psychologist's report. The report found he had suffered depressive and post-traumatic symptoms at the time of the offence. He was inexperienced in forming relationships with women and possessed an unclear concept of what constitutes consent in sexual relations. These factors in combination heightened the probability of the commission of the offence," the psychologist found.
In his overturned sentence, Victorian County Court judge Mark Dean found Sharifi had deliberately sought out vulnerable, drunk women to rape. He did not accept Sharifi's flight from the Taliban as an excuse. Assad's forces launched an offensive in April in an effort to cut off supply lines to the rebels by taking the city and its surrounding areas from the rebel groups that had been entrenched there since last year. Two weeks ago, the Syrian forces reached the center of the city. While the sources describing Monday's massacre are supportive of Assad, it's possible that it occurred since the rebel groups fighting the Assad regime are composed mainly of members of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliated groups and have committed war crimes and atrocities in the past.
Jabhat al-Nusra, the branch of al-Qaeda that fought and killed American and allied troops in Iraq, have positioned themselves in Syria and control the rebel movement. The U. However, al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups have been at the front of the rebel movement since day one of the Syrian war that began two years ago. According to German intelligence, 95 percent of the rebels aren't even Syrian.
Members of the FSA have admitted that their plan is to institute sharia law, and the rebels now have a brigade named the Osama bin Laden Brigade. So far, he is described as being a bearded, athletically-built man, 1. In London, supporters of the far-Right clashed with police and anti-fascists, shutting down streets around Parliament.
As tensions mounted across the country: He said: Great Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell said attacks on mosques and other Islamic institutions were playing into the hands of terrorists who wanted community conflict. He added: Nearly anti-Muslim incidents have been recorded since the Woolwich murder, including attacks on mosques, online abuse and cars being daubed with graffiti, according to Faith Matters.
Spokesman Fiyaz Mughal said: We are almost unable to keep up. Warrant office Douglas Radcliffe, 89, of the Bomber Command Association, travelled to Green Park to guard the monument yesterday, wearing his war medals. It is such a shame for this to happen to the memorial. It is very sad. EDL demonstrators pushed their way through a police cordon as they made their way to Trafalgar Square.
They are expected to demonstrate outside Downing Street later. A Grimsby mosque was last night hit with petrol bombs, while people were inside, including children. Chairman Diler Gharib said: A year-old man and a year-old man were arrested following the attack and were tonight in police custody at Grimsby Police Station. Meanwhile, hate cleric Anjem Choudary has told how Muslims have been shaking his hand in the street in support of his views on Islam, as Theresa May takes steps to ban extremist preachers from our screens.
Choudary said that his rants were to do with foreign policy and the oppression of Muslims, and said he had never encouraged any terrorism. He said many people were now scared of speaking - but he had been congratulated for his stance on the issue.
For more on persecution of homosexuals, click here. Rehana Kausar, 34, and Sobia Kamar, 29, made history when they tied the knot in a register office civil ceremony, then immediately applied for political asylum after they were wed, claiming their lives would be in danger if they returned to their native country.
Watched by their solicitors and two friends, the pair wore traditional white bridal dresses when they were married in Leeds, West Yorkshire. The pair, from the Lahore and Mirpur regions of Pakistan, said they had received death threats from opponents in Pakistan - where homosexual acts are illegal and considered against Islam.
And since news of their wedding earlier this month spread, the pair claimed they had even received death threats from the UK. Pakistani law does not recognise same-sex marriages and there are no laws to stop discrimination. They later started living together as a couple in South Yorkshire, where they spent a year before deciding to wed. A relative said: Senior police official Thomas Sangut said Ahmed was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police at his family home in the Indian Ocean port city of Mombasa.
Two policemen were wounded, and a hand grenade, two gun magazines and 68 rounds of ammunition were recovered, Sangut told a news conference. Aboud Rogo was killed in September last year when his car was sprayed with gunfire in Mombasa. Supporters blamed the attack on security services and it sparked days of deadly rioting that exposed deep social, political and sectarian divisions in Kenya's mainly Muslim coastal region. Kenyan police denied killing Rogo. Police said Ahmed was charged with possessing explosives in but skipped bail and had been on Kenya's most wanted list of suspects ever since.
Separately, Kenyan police said one of two men arrested over the murder of a British soldier in a London street last week had been detained in Kenya in on suspicion of seeking to train with al Shabaab. Muhammad Thaib, the district chief, on Saturday said that he had banned all adult women from dancing when welcoming guests in North Aceh, adding that only children should perform the tradition.
Masruchah, deputy chair of the National Commission on Violence Against Women Komnas Perempuan , told the Jakarta Globe on Saturday that Thaib violated the rights of women to express themselves in an art such as dancing. Islam indeed supports art and the right to express. Thaib said that the ban was in line with the spirit of Islamic Shariah, which he claimed was supported by North Aceh residents.
The latest deadly incident, which took place just two months ago, raised questions about what, if anything, can be done to prevent such violence. The March incident when a Muslim mob burned down a Christian neighborhood in Lahore , echoed a similar incident in the rural town of Gojra four years earlier. Nine people were killed when rioters torched two Christian neighborhoods over rumors the Christians had celebrated a wedding by showering the groom with pages torn from the Quran.
Despite hundreds of arrests, no one was tried for the riots, and relatives of those killed have now fled Pakistan. In , the Punjab government asked a senior judge to investigate how to prevent incidents like the one in Gojra.
The judge interviewed nearly witnesses, including senior politicians and intelligence officials, producing a page report detailing who was responsible for the violence. But the full report was not released until recently — nearly four years after the riots.
It implicates members of Pakistan Muslim League-N, at the time just recently elected to power, and recommends Pakistan's blasphemy laws be reformed to prevent future violence. According to the report, the Interservices Intelligence ISI and local intelligence agencies knew banned extremist groups like Sipah-e-Sahaba were organizing the mobs, yet authorities did not take preventative action.
Like the riot in Lahore this year, Mr. Khan says police had several days to curtail growing threats from Muslim extremists in Gojra. On July 30, , members of Sipah-e-Sahaba led a mob that burned down the entire village of Korian over the blasphemy accusation. The next day, preachers at three local mosques used their Friday sermons to demand that Gojra's Christian community — some 40, people — be expelled.
They announced rallies the next day. The next day, busloads of seminary students from the nearby town of Jhang — a radical Sunni stronghold — joined the rallies, which were addressed by local PML-N leaders and preachers from Sipah-e-Sahaba. Bishop John Samuel, who heads an Anglican community in Gojra, says local police should have stopped the meetings and arrested those calling for more violence. By that evening, crowds from the rallies made their way to the Christian neighborhood near the center of Gojra.
Despite the efforts of some religious leaders to disperse the crowd, the mob began throwing stones at the homes, and some began shooting at Christians. Hameed Maseeh, a Christian, climbed on top of his roof and began firing back, but he was shot and killed. The crowd of Muslims swelled to more than 7,, and some began setting fire to the Christian homes.
According to the report, police that were supposed to protect the Christians told them to flee, before leaving the scene themselves. Hameed Masih's family — unwilling to leave his body behind — locked themselves inside their home.
Seven of them, including two children and three women, died when the mob set fire to their home. Coming just four days after the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in London , the stabbing was immediately seen as a possible copycat attack.
The year-old, patrolling as part of France's Vigipirate anti-terrorist surveillance plan, was injured in the stabbing around 6pm but would survive, the source said. He was attacked in the Parisian business district of La Defense, inside the train station. French daily Le Parisien cited police sources as saying the suspected attacker was a bearded man of North African origin about 30 years old, and was wearing an Arab-style garment under his jacket.
Pierre-Andre Peyvel, police prefect for the Hauts-de-Seine area, said the soldier had lost a considerable amount of blood but would survive, and was being treated in a nearby military hospital. Francois Hollande, the French president, said that "at the moment" no link was being made between the murder of Drummer Rigby but that "we must look at all the hypotheses". France is on high alert for attacks by Islamist militants following its military intervention in Mali in January, which prompted threats against French interests from AQIM, the North African wing of al Qaeda.
In a second incident of violation of religious freedom, a group of people in the capital were sentenced to heavy fines for "gathering" to pray and read Christian material a Bible in a private home. Local sources said that the secret police artfully assembled fake evidence to nail Sharofat Allamova, who was then convicted in a sham trial.
The possession of religious materials is strictly controlled by the State, with a heavy censorship of the Committee for Religious Affairs, which often targets the Christian minority. The double raid on the private home took place in January and the court only ruled on the case recently, in accordance with Article of the Criminal Code. Already in May she had suffered similar punishment, again for possession of religious materials. In addition to the confiscation of the Bible and other texts, the biggest fear is that the woman can be shipped to the cotton fields for the autumn harvest.
As repeatedly denounced by organizations and activists, the state uses the work of minors and convicts for the grueling task. He said that the Taliban had apparently stopped at the mosque while traveling and the explosives they were carrying went off while they were inside. The Ghazni explosion was on the same day as Taliban fighters supported by a suicide car bomb attacked a compound for international aid workers in the capital.
The claims relate to the district of Schilderswijk, about two kilometres from the city centre, where an almost entirely Muslim population of some 5, people surrounds the El Islam mosque, fuelling criticism that the government has failed to ensure a proper ethnic mix in schools and local housing. The investigation found that orthodox Muslims had become so dominant that they were dictating what people in the neighbourhood wore and how they behaved. In the case of women, dress was a particular issue.
On May 12, a Lebanese man was sentenced to lashings with a whip and six years in prison, for his part in encouraging a Saudi Muslim to convert to Christianity and his subsequent role in helping her flee to Sweden to secure religious asylum. A Saudi man, who was also involved in the conversion and escape, was sentenced to lashings and two years in prison.
The woman was an employee of an insurance company in the eastern district of Khobar, and the two men were her colleagues. According to the local Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution BIP , the story dates back to when the young woman struck up a friendship with her Saudi colleague and then the Lebanese man.
The three would meet up from time to time, the girl fell in love with the young Lebanese who gave her books and invited her to follow a religious chat room. Subsequently, she converted to Christ and fled to Lebanon. Her father claimed that she even left the country illegally.
They claimed that the two men helped her leave the country via Bahrain, using false documents. Almost a year after their arrest, the two men were sentenced to lashings and imprisonment for assisting in her conversion and escape to Sweden.
In , he also sponsored an inter-faith conference in Spain. But these efforts seem vain when considering the gross violations of human rights that are rampant in the Kingdom itself, which appears immune to the reasoning that their restrictive religious laws breed religious intolerance and violate the universal right to religious freedom, something that is not even guaranteed in the constitution. Public Christian worship is forbidden and worshipers risk imprisonment, lashing, deportation and torture.
Evangelizing Muslims and distributing non-Islamic materials is illegal. Muslims who convert to Christianity risk honor killings and foreign Christian workers have been exposed to abuse from employers. Saudi Arabia is even immune to political persuasion. As Dwight Bashir, deputy director for policy at the U. Until the U. Novi recently became the first locality in Michigan to officially permit Muslim women to don their head cover during detention and photos at the local prison. Police have arrested two British nationals on suspicion of endangerment of an aircraft today after the plane was diverted to Stansted Airport.
Officers are treating the incident as a criminal offence. Officers boarded Pakistan International Airlines flight PK, which is believed to have been carrying passengers bound for Manchester, after it landed at Stansted and removed the arrested men, aged 30 and 41, from the plane. It is believed one of the passengers threatened to blow up the plane after other passengers tried to intervene in a row he was embroiled in. According to one of the passengers, the aircraft's cabin crew said two men had repeatedly tried to get into the cockpit.
Umari Nauman told Sky News: She said all the passengers had been ordered to leave their possessions on board before leaving the plane. It is thought that the incident might have been sparked by a scuffle or a disagreement among passengers. A police spokesman said: They have been removed from the plane.
The RAF jet was scrambled following an incident around 10 minutes before the plane, which departed from Lahore, was due to land in Manchester at 2pm. The arrests come at a sensitive time in Pakistani politics following a string of terror attacks in the country after the presidential elections. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility yesterday for a bomb that killed 11 security personnel and two civilians in the southwestern city of Quetta. It was the second major attack since the May 11 general election which marked the first transition between civilian governments in Pakistan's turbulent history after a campaign marred by violence.
More than male students protested in Kabul yesterday against women's rights, calling for the repeal of a presidential decree on the 'Elimination of Violence Against Women', which they say is un-Islamic. The decree bans child and forced marriage, makes domestic violence a crime and says that rape victims cannot be prosecuted for adultery. It also outlaws "ba'ad," a traditional practice of exchanging women or girls to settle disputes or debts. The protest came days after conservative lawmakers blocked an attempt to turn the decree into law.
Mawladad Jalali, the mullah of the university mosque, was one of the protest's organisers. Yesterday, he called for parliament to repeal the decree. Demonstrators slammed the decree "imposed by foreigners" for violating Sharia. Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued the decree on women's rights three years ago as part of a series of commitments to international donors, but a lawmaker wanted to pass it in parliament to prevent any future president from reversing it.
The parliamentary speaker ended the debate Saturday after fierce opposition from conservative lawmakers who said several provisions-including the ban on child marriage and jail time for domestic abuse-violated Islamic law. In a case that has outraged rights activists Mr Masmud, a father of four from his first wife, allegedly raped the girl inside a car parked by a road in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the Borneo state of Sabah, on February But on April 18 the girl withdrew her accusation against the man in a police report and said they are in the process of him taking her as his second wife.
In subsequent court hearing prosecutors did not object to the case being withdrawn but said the man needed to settle the matter under sharia law. Mr Masmud said he plans for the girl to finish her studies and then "take up a cosmetics course with his first wife. After reports of the marriage emerged Sabah's minister for community and consumer affairs Datuk Jainab Ahmad said her ministry was questioning the validity of the marriage. I believe the victim is in a trauma.
She should be protected instead of marrying the man who raped her. The Child Rights Coalition Malaysia CRCM , a group comprising seven child-related non-government-organisations, slammed the Sabah court for ruling in favour of the child marriage. He said Kuwait recognizes Saudi regulations which still ban women from driving cars, adding that some men do not allow their wives or daughters to drive.
He said they were carrying explosives on two motorcycles when come went off, injuring Zeeshan Masih. He said the two men took him to a hospital, from where they later fled. Zeeshan Masih was pronounced dead a few hours later. The CPO said that the hospital administration informed the police. A team was formed to look for the two men, who were arrested on Wednesday. The CPO said that the two men had confessed to plotting against the priest and demanding money.
They said they had called him the priest introducing themselves as workers of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and had threatened to kill him in case of non-payment. They said they had also written a letter to him, but he had ignored the threats. Senior Whitehall sources said the two attackers, who are in hospital, asked passers-by to film them, and they shouted "Allahu Akbar" Allah is great.
In footage that has emerged, one of the attackers wields a bloodied meat cleaver and says: The black man, dressed in a grey hooded jacket and black woolly hat, apologises to members of the public who witnessed the horrific scenes before making a number of political statements. In the footage, he is heard to say: An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
You people will never be safe. Witnesses also described seeing the "crazed" Woolwich attackers "hacking" at their victim and posing for pictures before charging at police wielding meat cleavers. One onlooker, identified as James, said he saw two black men chopping at a man in his 20s like he was "a piece of meat". That's the only thing I can think," he said. When armed police arrived 20 minutes later, "the man with the beanie hat, the tall guy, he charged at the police vehicle," James said.
Another witness, Julia Wilders, 51, who lives near the scene, said she saw one of the attackers run towards police clutching two meat cleavers. Former classmates of Michael Adebolajo told the Standard how he started becoming interested in Islam aged 15 or 16 having been raised as a Christian. They said his Nigerian parents became so worried about his behaviour that they moved him from their home in Romford to London in a bid to protect him from being radicalised. Today anti-terror police raided addresses in London, Lincolnshire and in Romford and took away members of his family for questioning.
Both killers of the British soldier who was hacked to death in the street in Woolwich yesterday were revealed today as known to MI5 but are thought to have acted alone. But detectives are investigating claims that Adebolajo may have been radicalised after attending meetings of the now banned group Al Muhajiroun. Adebolajo, believed to be 28, was filmed after the atrocity wielding a bloodied meat cleaver, saying: In the chilling footage, with hands covered in blood, he explains his terrifying actions, saying: An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,".
The killer is said to have formally converted to Islam in when he started using the name Mujahid. He attended Marshalls Park school in Romford and was described as a "nice, normal guy" by friends, who expressed "utter shock" at seeing him on television covered in blood brandishing a meat cleaver and machete, declaring "you and your kids will be next".
A friend, who asked not to be identified, said: A nice, normal guy. All his friends were white and used to go round to each other's houses all the time. It is utterly shocking to see what he has done. It's unbelievable. Adebolajo began attending meetings of the banned Islamist organisation Al Muhajiroun and its successor organisations but stopped going two years ago.
One of the terror suspects accused of butchering a British soldier on a London street has been identified as Michael Adebolajo, who was raised in a devout Christian family and converted to Islam after college, reports said.
A Muslim cleric named the year-old, although authorities had yet to confirm his identity early Thursday. The self-proclaimed jihadi may have been a student at London's University of Greenwich and lived in the area around and A spokeswoman for the school wouldn't confirm Thursday whether he attended classes. They remain in separate hospitals held by armed guards. Government sources suggest both Adebolajo and his accomplice were known to the security services MI5 and police, Sky News reported.
London authorities have beefed up security and deployed 1, extra officers on the streets as well as at houses of worship. Terrorist transcript: War memorial vandalized, mosque firebombed and clashes on the street, tensions rise after Muslims slaughter soldier. Prison guard kidnapped, beaten and held for five hours by terrorist outraged after prison imam called for inmates to pray for Rigby.
Woolwich terror suspect, Michael Adebolajo, enters court with Quran and blows kisses to supporters. Adebolajo, whose left arm was bandaged, sat between plain clothes police officers and a prison guard during the brief hearing. Truth about 'wave of attacks' on Muslims after Woolwich killing: Most incidents 'offensive' messages on Facebook and Twitter. But more than half of the incidents reported to the Tell Mama Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks hotline related to offensive messages on Twitter, Facebook or online blogs, and only a tiny minority were physical attacks, it has emerged.
A total of incidents were reported between the Woolwich murder on May 22 and the end of last week. But while they included a petrol bomb attack on a mosque in Grimsby and in another incident in Essex where a man entered a mosque armed with a knife, only 17 cases involved individuals being physically targeted, a Sunday newspaper reported. More than half — — related to offensive or abusive messages on social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter. Rigby left behind a wife and young son.
Many on the extreme left, such as the group, Unite Against Fascism UAF , have sickeningly justified the attack, or at least diminished it. Last month, UAF members threw flowers which had been placed at a memorial for the slain soldier. He [Rigby] killed many people as a soldier directly or indirectly by supporting the Royal British Army, he deserved it. Great Britain is racist. But on route to his home in St Thomas, Exeter, he said he was targeted by the hateful mob as he is a serving member of the armed forces.
After a period of about two minutes he managed to escape after fighting off but fear his injuries could have been a lot worse. As I went into the underpass a group of lads walked past me. I replied yes and before I could say why, fists were coming towards my face. One was trying to get a screwdriver out of his pocket. I managed to get it off him and fight him off. They kept shouting Lee Rigby — like they wanted to re-create what happened. After managing to escape and run off Alex was left with a split lip, sore ribs and a swollen jaw.
An interior ministry official said the gunmen burst into the establishment early in the afternoon and opened fire. Both prostitution and alcohol are prohibited by Islam, the religion of the vast majority of Iraq's population. This is not the first time that members of the AKP have stirred debate with comments about atheists. Some 12 people who were in the mosque had just exited, and fortunately no one was hurt in the 8.
The government should "get tough on abusers of women and stop blaming women who are crime victims", said HRW. It said women and girls were now imprisoned for "moral crimes" - the highest since the US-led overthrow of the Taliban 12 years ago. Human Rights Watch's alert comes just three days after angry scenes in the Afghan parliament forced a halt to a debate about reinforcing a law to prevent violence against women. The law banning violence against women, child marriages and forced marriages was passed by presidential decree in , but did not gain MPs' approval.
Some women's activists had worried that by opening up the law for debate might risk it being watered down or even repealed. Human Rights Watch says many of the protections within the Elimination of Violence Against Women law - which bans forced and underage marriage, beatings and rape - are still not being implemented on the ground. HRW's Afghanistan researcher, Heather Barr, said the dramatic increase in prosecutions for "moral crimes" could be related to increased confidence among religious conservatives as international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan in These ideas came from Afghan women's rights activists, she said.
HRW called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai to issue a decree that running away should not be treated as a crime and instruct police to investigate possible incidents of violence against women. Their deaths take the number of executions in Saudi Arabia to at least 45 since the beginning of the year with six this week.
Recent religious furor has been easily stoked in Pakistan. In Lahore on March 9, about 3, Muslims attacked Christians in Joseph Colony, destroying homes, after rumors spread of an alleged remark against Islam by a Christian. In Gojra in , eight Christians were burned alive, houses looted and 50 homes set ablaze after a blasphemy accusation.
Christians largely voted for Mian Yawar Zaman, also a Muslim, for a provincial assembly seat in the general election on May Amina Tyler, 19, was found in the midst of police scuffles with hardline Salafist group Ansar al-Shariah in the central Tunisian city of Kairouan on Sunday. Tyler previously described herself as a member of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen, which uses nudity in protests. Video posted by the Tunisian online Nawaat news site shows Tyler, with dyed blonde hair, clutching a banner and being hustled away by police and put into a van as residents chased her.
A local resident shouts at the camera: Mohammed Ali Aroui, the spokesman for the Tunisian interior ministry, described her acts as provocative and said she was under investigation and may be charged for her behavior on Sunday. He added that he understood the angry reaction of local residents to her appearance. The two, aged 20 and 28, were arrested at the beginning of the month at Temara near the capital by police who found them together in a car. That means an average of almost two bombs a day.
The military said that the very tall walls that have been constructed around the compound — nine meters high, or almost 30 feet — have not sufficed to provide security. Minority Muslim groups, such as Ahmadiyah and Shiites, and Christians, have been targeted by Muslim radicals in the Sunni-majority country, with places of worship attacked and in some cases worshippers even killed.
So, they got an autopsy conducted on the body and also gathered information from the neighbours of the deceased. The autopsy report revealed that the death was a homicide. Upon arrival at the house, the police found the body ready for burial. The family had already changed her clothes and given bath to the body. On inquiry, the family members told the police that she had committed suicide by hanging and nothing was suspicious about the death. The police shifted the body to hospital for autopsy.
The autopsy on the body showed that she was four months pregnant. Besides, injuries were also found at nine spots on the body, including neck, cheeks, chin and hands. According to the police investigation, the victim had fallen in love with a year-old boy living in the same locality some two years ago and got pregnant a few months back. In the light of the autopsy report and circumstantial evidence, the police registered a murder case.
The paternal uncle of the deceased is a driver by profession. The police said the family did not want to register a case, so it was lodged on behalf of the state after making a policeman as a complainant. They also feared that if the killer s was a family member, he would be pardoned by the legal heirs.
The police said the samples collected from the body of the victim, including the foetus, were sent for DNA test to establish the parentage. After establishing the parentage, the man would be arrested on the charge of adultery. Legal experts and senior police officers are of the opinion that honour killing should be considered as a crime against the state to curb the practice. As the complainant in an honour killing case is the legal heir of the victim, who is also the relative of the killer s , so the issue is settled out of court.
For more news related to the "Innocence of Muslims" video clip, click here. Indlalifa acquires the duty to maintain and support the widow and minor children. In dealing with family property, indlalifa has to consult the widow who had the right to restrain him from dissipating family assets. When there are insufficient assets to maintain the family, indlalifa had to use his own resources to provide maintenance. It is therefore plain that the impact of the provisions of the Act on surviving spouses is to protect their right to receive maintenance and support from the deceased spouse by transferring the duty to support and maintain onto the estate of a deceased spouse.
It is true that surviving partners of permanent life partnerships are not afforded this protection. But, although this may constitute a disadvantage, it does not take away the right of a surviving partner of a permanent life partnership from receiving a sum of money from the estate of a deceased partner.
Indeed, the provisions of the Act do not prevent partners in a permanent life partnership from leaving sums of money to each other in their respective wills, which can be used for maintenance. We know for example that the deceased in this case left Mrs Robinson a sum of money in his will. There is a further consideration that is equally relevant. The law places no legal impediment to heterosexual couples involved in permanent life partnerships from getting married.
All that the law does is to put in place a legal regime that regulates the rights and obligations of those heterosexual couples who have chosen marriage as their preferred institution to govern their intimate relationship. Their entitlement to protection under the Act, therefore, depends on their decision whether to marry or not. The decision to enter into a marriage relationship and to sustain such a relationship signifies a willingness to accept the moral and legal obligations, in particular, the reciprocal duty of support placed upon spouses and other invariable consequences of a marriage relationship.
This would include the acceptance that the duty to support survives the death of one of the spouses. The Act does not say who may enter into a marriage relationship. The Act simply attaches certain legal consequences to people who choose marriage as their contract. There is a choice at the entry level. The law expects those heterosexual couples who desire the consequences ascribed to this type of relationship to signify their acceptance of those consequences by entering into a marriage relationship.
Those who do not wish such consequences to flow from their relationship remain free to enter into some other form of relationship and decide what consequences should flow from their relationships. The other consideration is that marriage is a matter of choice. Marriage is a manifestation of that choice and more importantly, the acceptance of the consequences of a marriage.
It is more than a piece of paper. As this Court observed in the Dawood case:. People involved in a relationship may choose not to marry for a whole variety of reasons, including the fact that they do not wish the legal consequences of a marriage to follow from their relationship. It is also true that they may not marry because one of the parties does not want to get married. Should the law then step in and impose the legal consequences of marriage in these circumstances?
To do so in my view would undermine the right freely to marry and the nature of the agreement inherent in a marriage. Indeed it would amount to the imposition of the will of one party upon the other. This is equally unacceptable. Another consideration that is relevant is the difficulty of establishing the existence of a permanent life partnership.
The point at which such partnerships come into existence is not determinable in advance. In addition, the consequences of such partnerships are determined by agreement between the parties. Unless these have been expressly agreed upon, they have to be inferred from the conduct of the parties.
What happens at the dissolution of such partnerships is far from clear. All of this points to the need to regulate permanent life partnerships. This does not mean that a law designed to regulate marriages is unconstitutional simply because it does not regulate permanent life partnerships. The provisions of the Act may have denied the surviving partners of permanent life partnerships the protection it affords to surviving spouses, but it cannot be said that it fundamentally impairs their rights of dignity or sense of equal worth.
The impact of the discrimination upon the surviving partners is, therefore, in all the circumstances not unfair. It follows that the provisions of the Act are not inconsistent with sections 9 and 10 of the Constitution. In the event, the order of invalidity made by the High Court cannot be confirmed. For these reasons I concur in the order proposed in the judgment of Skweyiya J. We have had the opportunity of reading the judgments in this matter prepared by Skweyiya J and Sachs J.
We are unable to agree with the order proposed by Skweyiya J. We agree with the conclusion reached by Sachs J but for different reasons which we set out in this judgment. The facts of the case have been set out in the judgments of both Skweyiya J and Sachs J.
To recap in brief, Mrs Robinson and Mr Shandling the deceased , who had both been previously married, formed a relationship in which they lived together from until his death in November The relationship thus lasted sixteen years.
They did not marry although there was no legal impediment to marriage. He bequeathed certain of his assets, totalling approximately one third of his estate, to Mrs Robinson. The residue of his estate was left to his three children in different proportions. In addition to the bequests made in her favour, Mrs Robinson applied to the executor for her to be treated as a surviving spouse for the purposes of section 2 1 of the Act, which would entitle her to maintenance.
That application was refused by the executor on the grounds that she did not fall within the terms of section 2 1 as she had not been married to Mr Shandling. Mr Shandling was a senior partner in a firm of attorneys in Cape Town while Mrs Robinson worked intermittently as a freelance journalist and artist. Mrs Robinson averred that Mr Shandling supported her financially during the subsistence of their relationship and paid all household expenses. Mrs Robinson states that Mr Shandling had been diagnosed as suffering from bi-polar disorder before their relationship commenced and that she nursed him through the mood swings that are characteristic of this disorder.
She also nursed him in his final illness. It is quite clear from the evidence given by Mrs Robinson, and not disputed by the executor, that Mr Shandling and Mrs Robinson lived together for sixteen years, supporting one another both financially and emotionally and that both considered the relationship to be a permanent one.
The High Court found on the facts that Mr Shandling and Mrs Robinson had entered into a permanent and intimate life partnership. In deciding whether this finding is correct, we consider the following factors to be determinative in this case: In our view, these facts make it plain that both Mr Shandling and Mrs Robinson considered themselves to constitute a permanent life partnership in which they undertook duties of mutual support and care for one another.
It is also clear, however, that they chose not to marry. We must assume that it was Mr Shandling who chose not to marry as Mrs Robinson says that she was at all times willing to be married. In our view, however, the fact that they did not marry does not mean that they had not established a permanent life partnership. Section 9 3 of our Constitution prohibits discrimination on the grounds of marital status.
It provides:. The institution of marriage is an important social institution which has extensive legal consequences under the two legal regimes which regulate marriage in South Africa, the common law and African customary law. The social importance of marriage has been recognised by this Court in several cases.
The celebration of a marriage thus confers extensive legal duties and rights upon the parties to the marriage as a matter of law. As a matter of social relations, it often results in the founding of a family which provides essential human companionship, mutual support and security to the members of that family.
However, not every family is founded on a marriage recognised as such in law. Yet members of such families often play the same roles as in families which are founded on marriage and provide companionship, support and security to one another.
The law has tended to privilege those families which are founded on marriages recognised by the common law. Historically, marriages solemnised according to the principles of African customary law were not afforded recognition equal to the recognition afforded to common law marriages, 71 though this has begun to change.
It is thus a constitutional prescript that families that are established outside of civilly recognised marriages should not be subjected to unfair discrimination. Where relationships which are socially and functionally similar to marriage are not regulated in the same way as marriage, discrimination on the grounds of marital status will arise. In this case, we have concluded that the cohabitation relationship of Mrs Robinson and Mr Shandling was a relationship that constituted a permanent life partnership in which the parties had undertaken mutually to support one another, both financially and otherwise.
We concluded, therefore, that their relationship was socially and functionally similar to marriage. To the extent that the law regulates its consequences differently from that of marriage, the law will be prima facie discriminatory.
The question that then arises is whether that discrimination is unfair. In each case where it is shown that a relationship that is socially and functionally similar to marriage is treated differently from marriage, a careful contextual analysis will be necessary to determine whether the discrimination is indeed unfair. It will be helpful to start by considering the legal rules governing marriage. Before we do so, however, it is important to note that the rules governing marriage both under common law and under African customary law have been the subject of intense debate in the last few decades.
The focus of that debate has been a realisation that many of the rules of marriage in both systems were discriminatory on the grounds of gender and sex. Some of the rules were expressly and obviously discriminatory, such as the rule of common law which provided that a woman married in community of property had limited contractual capacity and that her husband, the bearer of the marital power, was entitled to manage their common estate on his own without referring to her at all.
Other rules regulating marriage were discriminatory against women, not expressly, but in effect. In particular these rules often failed to acknowledge the division of labour within the household, in terms of which women bore primary and often sole responsibility for the maintenance of the household and caring for children and elderly members of the family. The responsibilities so often borne by women across all South African communities, whether wealthy or poor, and regardless of colour, meant that women were less likely to be able to participate in the labour market as successfully as men.
The effect of the unequal division of labour in the household, and discriminatory practices in the labour market, meant that at the termination of a marriage, whether by death or divorce, women were often more materially vulnerable than men. This was caused by the fact that during the marriage women were often less able than men to accumulate property, and were also less able to compete in the labour market.
The Legislature has sought to remedy this inequality over the last twenty years with a range of legislative enactments governing the regulation of matrimonial property both during the subsistence of the marriage and upon its termination, 77 as well as provisions extending the duty of support that arises on marriage to after the death of one of the spouses the provision in question in this case , 78 and seeking to improve the procedures whereby the duty of support may be enforced.
That evolution reflects and responds to changes in the broader community. The discussion of the rights of marriage that follows is based largely, but not exclusively, on the current common law rules regulating marriage. Marriage, as presently constructed in common law, 80 constitutes a contract between a man and a woman in which the parties undertake to live together, 81 and to support one another. Formalities for the celebration of a marriage are set out in the Marriage Act. If objections to the marriage are lodged, the marriage officer must satisfy herself or himself that there are no legal obstacles to the marriage.
Certainty is important for the broader community in the light of the wide range of legal implications that marriage creates, as we shall now describe. One of the most important invariable consequences of marriage is the reciprocal duty of support. It is an integral part of the marriage contract and has immense value not only to the partners themselves but to their families and also to the broader community.
The duty of support gives rise to the special rule that spouses, even those married out of community of property, can bind one another to third parties in relation to the provision of household necessaries which include food, clothing, medical and dental services.
This obligation may not be excluded by antenuptial contract. Another invariable legal consequence of the marriage is the right of both parties to occupy the joint matrimonial home. This obligation is clearly based on the premise that spouses will live together. The party who owns the home may not exclude or evict the other party from the home. Limited exceptions to this rule have been created under the Domestic Violence Act.
The way in which the marriage affects the property regime of the parties to the marriage is variable at common law. The ordinary common law regime is one of community of property including profit and loss in terms of which the parties to a marriage share one joint estate which they manage jointly. This rule was altered by statutory intervention in Marriage also produces certain invariable consequences in relation to children.
Children born during a marriage are presumed to be children of the father. Both parents have an ineluctable duty to support their children and children have a reciprocal duty to support their parents. The duty to support children arises whether the children are born of parents who are married or not.
Because of the social importance of marriage in our community, the law also attaches a range of other consequences to marriage — for example, insolvency law provides that where one spouse is sequestrated, the estate of the other spouse also vests in the Master in certain circumstances, 98 the law of evidence creates certain rules relating to evidence by spouses against or for one another, 99 and the law of delict recognises damages claims based on the duty of support.
From the above, it is clear that marriage is an institution of great legal significance. This significance arises both from the important social role that marriage plays in our society and from its public and formal character which make it a reliable criterion for the conferral of obligations and rights. We are unable to agree with Skweyiya J to the extent that he suggests that in determining whether discrimination on the grounds of marital status is unfair or not, one can take the view that it is not unfair to discriminate between relationships to which the law attaches the obligations of support and cohabitation and those relationships to which the law does not attach such consequences.
In our view, this approach defeats the important constitutional purpose played by the prohibition on discrimination on the grounds of marital status. For if it does not constitute unfair discrimination to regulate marriage differently from other relationships in which the same legal obligations are not imposed upon the partners to that relationship by the law, marriage will inevitably remain privileged.
We do not consider this would serve the constitutional purpose of section 9 3 , and its prohibition of unfair discrimination on the grounds of marital status. It has become apparent that more and more people in South Africa live together without being married. However, although cohabitating partners have received some piecemeal attention by Parliament over the last ten years, no comprehensive legislative regulation of the consequences of cohabitation has yet taken place. The South African Law Reform Commission, however, has been engaged in researching the matter and has prepared a comprehensive discussion paper on it.
Of course, the circumstances of cohabitants can vary significantly. Some may be living together with no intention of permanence at all, others may be living together because there is a legal or religious bar to their marriage, others may be living together on the firm and joint understanding that they do not wish their relationship to attract legal consequences, and still others may be living together with the firm and shared intention of being permanent life partners.
Moreover, one cohabiting relationship may change its joint character and purpose so that partners who may originally not intend to be living together as permanent life partners may over time alter that intention and intend to live together as permanent life partners.
Often cohabitation will be a long-term arrangement between two people. Because such relationships are similar to marriage, and because they will be based on many of the same social practices that underpin marriage, many of the gender inequalities that are attendant upon marriage, and described above, will also be attendant upon these relationships.
It is quite likely that after a long period of cohabitation, in which the parties have lived together, and even raised children jointly, the person in the relationship, often, but not necessarily the woman, who has been responsible for the maintenance of the household and caring for children will be more vulnerable in relation to material and financial matters than the other partner. The termination of the cohabitation relationship whether by death or separation will often prejudice that person in the absence of any equitable regulation of the property affairs of the partners upon termination.
Some cohabitation relationships, such as that between Mrs Robinson and Mr Shandling, play a role very similar to marriage in our society. However, because they are not formally celebrated in a manner that is capable of easy proof or ascertainment, attaching legal consequences automatically to such relationships may be less practicable.
To resolve this problem some societies have provided for the registration of cohabitation relationships in a manner similar to marriage. There are thus differences between marriage and cohabitation even where cohabitation plays a similar social function to marriage.
These differences mean that the mere fact that the law regulates marriage relationships differently from cohabitation relationships does not mean that the law, to the extent that it discriminates on the grounds of marital status, will constitute unfair discrimination. To determine whether the law does constitute unfair discrimination requires us to follow the approach to unfairness established by this Court in a series of cases.
Although discrimination against cohabiting partners has not been equal to the discrimination relating to race and gender, cohabiting partners have been excluded from legal recognition as we have described above. Moreover, cohabiting partners have been and still are the subject of stigma and disapproval in our community, though this stigma is on the wane in some sectors of our society.
A further important factor in this case is that the group of cohabiting partners under consideration are those who, upon the death of their partner, are unable to provide for their own reasonable maintenance needs from their own resources. We are, by definition therefore, concerned with survivors of a cohabitation relationship in financial need.
We conclude for these reasons that the cohabiting partners under consideration in this case are a vulnerable group. We turn now to consider the circumstances of cohabiting partners under our law at present. At present our law makes no express provision for the regulation of the affairs of cohabiting partners upon termination of their relationship. In several other jurisdictions, the law of implied or constructive trusts has been used to re-allocate property rights between partners at the termination of a cohabitation relationship to achieve equity.
A universal partnership is a contract in which the parties agree to put in common all their property, both that which they presently own and that which they are to acquire in the future. Establishing that a contract has been concluded tacitly is of course not straightforward. Another legal remedy that may be available to assist a cohabiting partner on the termination of the relationship arises from the law governing unjustified enrichment. However, the law has not yet developed in this direction.
The scope of the law of unjustified enrichment need not be further considered. Accordingly, at present, there are only a few common law rules which may have the potential to regulate the rights of parties upon the termination of a cohabitation relationship, no matter how longstanding that relationship.
These remedies do not as presently recognised provide a comprehensive, certain and coherent set of principles to protect cohabitants. Moreover, there are no express statutory provisions at all to regulate the affairs of cohabitants upon termination of their relationship by the death of one party.
Accordingly, at termination by the death of one of the parties, the surviving partner is left without effective legal recourse, unless she or he can formulate a claim based on the principles of the common law described above. This situation arises, despite the fact that it is clear that the relationship of cohabitation was one in which the parties had undertaken mutual duties of support and one in which patterns of vulnerability and dependence had been established, such that the death of one party may put the other in great difficulty.
The determination whether the discrimination caused by section 2 1 affects cohabiting partners unfairly needs to be understood in the context of the fact that there are no comprehensive, certain or clear legal remedies that can ameliorate the circumstances of the surviving cohabitant upon termination of the relationship by the death of one of the cohabitants.
The absence of any other legal remedy coupled with the discriminatory impact of section 2 1 will mean that often surviving cohabiting partners will be left vulnerable and unprotected upon the termination of their cohabitation arrangements by the death of their partner, even where their relationship had subsisted for a long period of time. Upon termination of a marriage by death, on the other hand, there are a range of rules which govern the rights of the parties.
When one spouse dies intestate, the other spouse is entitled to inherit the entire estate if the deceased spouse is not survived by any descendants. In addition to the provisions regulating succession, section 2 1 of the Act provides that a spouse in financial need may claim maintenance from the estate of his or her deceased spouse until his or her death or remarriage. As both Sachs J and Skweyiya J note in their judgments, this provision was enacted in to amend the situation then prevailing under the common law.
At that time, the common law held that the duty of support between spouses did not survive the death of one spouse. Accordingly, a spouse had no claim against the estate of his or her deceased spouse, even when in dire financial need, and if the estate would have been able to provide maintenance. There is a significant difference, therefore, between the way in which the law regulates the rights of spouses who survive a marriage, and the manner in which it regulates the rights of partners who survive a cohabitation relationship.
There can be no doubt that there is a range of ways in which the rights of partners surviving cohabitation relationships could be regulated. There are many different examples to be found in other legal systems. For example, it may conclude that registered cohabitation relationships will be more comprehensively regulated than other forms of cohabitation.
The various possibilities are canvassed extensively in the Law Reform Commission report referred to earlier. From the foregoing it becomes plain that cohabiting partners are a vulnerable group, and that in the absence of any other forms of legal regulation, the fact that they are excluded from the provisions of section 2 1 can have a grave impact on the interests of cohabiting partners. That impact will be particularly grave where the partnership is a permanent life partnership in which partners have undertaken reciprocal duties of support, where the surviving partner is in need, and there has been no equitable distribution to the surviving partner from the estate of the deceased partner.
It is our conclusion that, in the absence of any regulation in such circumstances, the effect of limiting the scope of section 2 1 to married spouses only will constitute unfair discrimination within the meaning of section 9 3 of the Constitution. Were there some regulation to provide equitable protection to cohabitants who have been in relationships which can be said to perform a similar social function to marriage, the provisions of section 2 1 may not have constituted unfair discrimination.
Given however that there is no regulation to ensure some equitable protection for cohabitants, particularly those who have been in long-term relationships where patterns of dependence have been established, the failure of section 2 1 to apply to such relationships constitutes, in our view, unfair discrimination. It should be emphasised that this conclusion does not mean that the Legislature is required to regulate cohabitation relationships in the same way that it regulates marriage.
In particular, the Legislature need not extend the provisions of section 2 1 to all cohabitation relationships. As indicated earlier, marriage is a particular form of relationship, concluded formally and publicly with specified and clear consequences. Many people who choose to cohabit may do so specifically to avoid those consequences.
In our view, the Legislature is entitled to take this into account when it regulates cohabitation relationships. However, cohabitation relationships that endure for a long time can produce patterns of dependence and vulnerability which in the light of the substantial and increasing number of people in cohabitation relationships cannot be ignored by the Legislature without offending the constitutional prohibition on unfair discrimination on the grounds of marital status.
The unfairness of the discrimination in this case lies not primarily in the fact that cohabiting partners are not afforded equivalent rights to marriage as stipulated in section 2 1 of the Act, but in the fact that neither section 2 1 nor any other legal rule regulates the rights of surviving partners to cohabitation relationships which were socially and functionally similar to marriage, when those relationships are terminated by death and where that surviving partner is in financial need.
In our view, given that section 2 1 of the Act and other legal provisions extensively regulate the rights of spouses in the event of the termination of a marriage by death, but there are no statutory provisions at all regulating the rights of cohabitants upon the termination of their relationships by death, the law discriminates against surviving partners of cohabitation relationships who are in financial need. We have concluded that the discrimination is unfair. The next question that arises is whether that unfair discrimination can be said to be reasonable and justifiable within the contemplation of section 36 of the Constitution.
In our view, this is an important purpose. However, that purpose can be achieved without excluding surviving partners of cohabitation relationships in which duties of support had been mutually undertaken, whether tacitly or expressly, and where those surviving partners are in financial need, from similar protection. It is not clear why marriage only need be protected. The need to provide protection to such surviving partners is all the more acute in the light of the prevailing common law principle that provides that such partners would not be able to enter into legally enforceable contractual obligations to support one another after the termination of their partnership by the death of one of them.
The law prohibits contracts between individuals which seek to regulate their affairs or relationships posthumously. While marriage plays an important role in our society, and most religions cherish it, the Constitution does not permit rights to be limited solely to advance a particular religious perspective. We conclude therefore that the unfair discrimination is not justifiable within the terms of section It is necessary to consider the appropriate remedy.
Section 1 a of the Constitution requires a court when deciding a constitutional matter to declare any law or conduct that is inconsistent with the Constitution to be invalid to the extent of its inconsistency. The difficulty we face in this case is that, for the reasons given earlier in this judgment, the discrimination we have found may be cured by the Legislature in a variety of ways and that those ways need not be identical to the manner in which marriages are currently regulated.
To cure the unfairness of the discrimination identified in this case the Legislature should make provision to ensure that on the termination of a longstanding cohabitation relationship by death, an equitable arrangement is reached in relation to the financial position of the survivor so that the dependence or vulnerability of the survivor which has arisen through the relationship of cohabitation is appropriately redressed.
This equitable arrangement could be achieved, either by an equitable distribution of the property of the cohabitants, or by rules relating to maintenance. The Legislature is in the best position to determine the precise nature of that regulation. We accordingly consider that the order of constitutional invalidity should be suspended to give the Legislature an opportunity to cure the constitutional defect.
All this may be so, yet section 1 nevertheless obliges us to capture the scope of the unconstitutionality as precisely as we can. We are, however, constitutionally obliged to formulate an order of invalidity as precisely as we can in the light of the circumstances that currently obtain. If the Legislature were not to take steps to cure the defect within the time stipulated and also not seek an extension of the suspension of the order, the order of invalidity would come into effect.
It is important for this reason too that the scope of the unconstitutionality be as carefully drawn as possible. It should be emphasised that, were this order to come into operation, a partner would only be able to claim maintenance in the circumstances contemplated by section 2 1. The surviving partner would have to show that he or she was not able to provide for his or her reasonable maintenance needs from his or her own means and earnings.
It should be noted that this definition limits the scope of the relief to a narrow class of cohabitation relationships only — those that are permanent heterosexual life partnerships in which the parties have undertaken reciprocal duties of support. The difficulty with this submission is that the development of the common law as proposed by the amicus was not relief sought in this litigation. The relief sought in this case was a declaration of constitutional invalidity in respect of section 2 1 of the Act.
Developing the common law as proposed by the amicus is quite different relief which it would be inappropriate to grant on appeal, in circumstances where it is has not been considered by any other court. Accordingly, the submission made by the amicus must fail. In our view, the proposed order identifies the relationships which perform most closely a similar social function to marriage and the relief should not extend beyond them, though of course it is open to the Legislature to regulate other cohabitation relationships.
We do this because we consider that even where a life partnership performs a similar social function to marriage, it is not constitutionally necessary for the Legislature to regulate that partnership in the same way as it regulates a marriage. The key issue for the Constitution is to ensure that some provision is made equitably to regulate the circumstances of a cohabiting partner upon the death of the other partner. In the circumstances of this matter, it is prudent to leave the Legislature as free as constitutionally possible to determine the appropriate form of regulation.
That will recognised her contribution to the partnership and her potential financial vulnerability upon the death of Mr Shandling by leaving to her approximately one third of his estate. In our view, this constitutes an adequate equitable division of the property of Mr Shandling, such as not to entitle Mrs Robinson to any further relief within the terms of the order we propose. In these circumstances, we do not consider it appropriate to make an order for interim relief.
We would therefore agree with Sachs J, though for different reasons, that the applicants have established that section 2 1 of the Act is unfairly discriminatory in that neither it nor any other provision of the law regulates the rights of surviving partners of cohabitation relationships. We would put the Legislature on terms to resolve this. Given the complexity of the task, we consider that two years is an appropriate period to give the Legislature to cure the defect in the current legislation.
Neither the applicant nor the respondents sought costs against one another. The respondents did seek costs against the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development on an attorney and client basis in the light of the fact that she abided the outcome of the litigation in the High Court and then sought to lodge evidence in this Court and oppose the relief.
Given that this judgment is not supported by a majority of the members of this Court who heard the matter, it is not necessary for us to consider whether it would be appropriate to award costs on the basis sought by the respondents. We have had an opportunity, since writing this judgment, to read the judgment prepared by Ngcobo J. We cannot agree with it. In our view, the approach he adopts privileges marriage relationships in a manner that cannot be consistent with the express constitutional prohibition of unfair discrimination on the grounds of marital status.
The omission from the definition in section 1 of the Maintenance of Surviving Spouses Act, 27 of of the following, at the end of the existing definitions, is unconstitutional and invalid —. Section 1 of the Maintenance of Surviving Spouses Act, 27 of is to be read as though it included the following at the end of the existing definition —. The orders contained in paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4 are suspended for a period of 2 years from the date of this order to enable the Legislature to take steps to cure the constitutional defects identified in this judgment.
Any party may approach this Court, on notice to all other parties, for an extension of the period of suspension provided for in paragraph 5 of this order before the period of suspension elapses. Should the Legislature choose not to enact legislation as contemplated in paragraph 5, the order of invalidity that shall come into operation two years after the date of this order shall have no effect on the validity of any acts performed in respect of the administration of a deceased estate that has finally been wound up by the date upon which the order of invalidity comes into effect.
This case raises complex social and legal questions about the interaction between freedom of choice and equality in intimate relationships. The problem does not lie in defining the technical legal question to be answered: Also, there are some semi-judicial and non-judicial bodies to hear cases. Dispute Settlement Councils are part of the judiciary but are supposed to function as an alternative dispute resolution body.
According to Articles 8 and 10, parties to a dispute may agree on filing their case in dispute settlement councils except in cases regarding marriage, divorce, waqf , will, bankruptcy, lack of capacity, and public and government owned properties. The general civil courts hear the appeal from their decisions. Family courts: According to Article 2 of the Family Protection Law, the court has a judge and a female consulting judge.
The judge issues the decision after consulting the written opinion of the female consulting judge. Criminal courts hear criminal cases and have been going through recent structural changes. The new Islamic Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, passed respectively in and , are the most recent changes in the Iranian criminal justice system. Under Article of the Criminal Procedure Act, the criminal courts are as follows: First Class Criminal Court: Three judges sit in First Class Criminal Courts.
First Class Criminal Courts are provincial Article Capital punishment cases, life sentences, limb amputation and body injuries with a third of blood money punishment, degree four and higher felonies, political crimes, and press crimes. A jury has to be present at such trials. Second Class Criminal Court: Second Class Criminal Courts are based in counties. Under Article , the Head of Judiciary may decide to establish county courts instead of second class criminal courts with the same jurisdiction.
Second Class Criminal Court has a general jurisdiction to hear all cases except cases within jurisdiction of special courts and First Class Criminal Court Article Under Article , the revolutionary courts are in session with three judges in capital punishment, life sentence, and limb imputation, felonies on body injuries with a minimum of one third worth of blood money punishment.
In other cases, the court only has one judge. The examples of such cases are crimes under Article 49 of the Constitution and some financial crimes. The cases filed before the amendment may be heard based on the rules in effect at the time. Juvenile Court: Under Article , Juvenile Courts have a judge and two social workers to counsel the judge. Juvenile Courts are based in counties and the number of branches in each county varies.
According to Article , Juvenile Courts have jurisdiction to hear cases against children under If the defendant reaches 18 during trial Juvenile Court will continue the trial. However, if before the trial starts, the defendant reaches 18, the case would be referred to a criminal court with jurisdiction.
In the latter case, the defendant will still benefit from the privileges of trials in Juvenile Courts. Military Court: Article 2. The Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal of both civil and criminal cases. Each branch has three judges. The judges have to have at least 10 years of experience as a judge or a lawyer, or be an Islamic scholar, or have studied Islamic jurisprudence in a seminary for 10 years. The Supreme Court as a court of appeals does not issue a substantive decision.
It only reviews cases with regards to the application and interpretation of law. It then sends the case to the lower court to review the facts and the law for a second time and issue a new decision. If the lower court issues the same decision as its earlier decision and the defendant appeals again, the case will be referred to the Supreme Court General Council in case the Supreme Court still issues a similar decision to its previous decision.
The Supreme Court also has jurisdiction to settle disputes between two courts from two different provinces on their jurisdiction to hear a case. In addition, it may allow a criminal court without jurisdiction to hear a case if it is a more convenient forum for parties or is the place the crime was committed. Furthermore, under 10 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court hears cases against the President as a pre-condition for the Supreme Leader to be able to dismiss the President.
Finally, the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to grant a motion to reopen closed criminal cases. The Supreme Court General Council: The Supreme Court General Council hears cases regarding the conflict of interpretation of civil or criminal laws by different lower courts. The interpretation of the Supreme Court General Council has precedential value and can only be overruled by another decision by the Supreme Court General Council or subsequent legislation by the Parliament. Non-judicial Dispute Settlement Bodies.
Article of the Municipal Code Committee: A committee is established under Article of Municipal Code to hear the cases regarding construction without a building permit and violation of building permits. In each city, the municipality brings the cases in the committee established in that city.
The committees have three members, including one nominee from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Judiciary, and the City Council. Also, the representative of the municipality attends the sessions to answer questions without a right to vote. The decision issued by the committee can be appealed. The appeal is heard in another committee with different members from the preliminary committee which is designated informally as the appeal committee.
The decisions issued from the second committee are final but can be appealed to the Administrative Court Article 10 2 of Administrative Court Act. Employee-Employer Dispute Settlement Body: Articles to of the Labor Law provided for the establishment of a non-judicial body to hear the disputes between employees and their employers. They both operate on a provincial level.
Dispute Settlement Body has three members, including a nominee from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, a nominee from employees appointed by the Council of Unions in the province, and a nominee from the employers appointed by the employers association of the province. Appellate Body has nine members, three times the number of the members of Dispute Settlement Body with the same combination. Tax Dispute Settlement Body: Articles to of the Direct Tax Law modified in provide for non-judicial dispute settlement on direct tax disputes.
Iranian National Tax Administration governs tax dispute settlement. There are two bodies hearing the cases within Tax Administration: Tax Dispute Settlement has different chapters in every province and act as both preliminary and appellate bodies. Each chapter has three members, including a nominee from Iranian National Tax Administration, a judge, and a nominee from the industry associations.
The decisions by Tax Dispute Settlement Body can be appealed. The appeal will be heard by another chamber of Tax Dispute Settlement Body with different members. Privatization Arbitration: Under Articles 20 to 23 of the Law on Third Economic, Social, and Cultural Development Plan, the disputes regarding privatizing the sectors mentioned in the Article 44 of the Constitution would be referred to arbitration.
The arbitral decisions are valid with a minimum of five votes. The decisions can be appealed to the court within 10 days after service on both parties.
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