Government analyses Marriage and Family laws

On February 23rd the Legislative Reform and Justice Sector Commission (LRC) together with the National Directorate for Legal Counsel and Legislation and the National Directorate for Registration and Notary, examined the possibilities of changing the norms related to marriage and civil registry.

In this third meeting on the subject the LRC and these two Directorates of the Ministry of Justice, considered that the adoption of rules for the registration of marriage in its various forms (civil, religious and monogamous “barlaqueado”) and the creation of conditions that ensure the effective celebration of marriage for citizens according to the civil law in force in Timor-Leste, were a priority. The LRC and the Directorates from the Ministry of Justice will work together on a proposal to be submitted to the Council of Ministers.

President of the LRC, Dr. Jorge Graça said that the possibility for the rules of marriage and family to be incorporated in an autonomous law, consistent with the general rules from the applicable Civil Code, would present, , “a modality that could contribute to a greater participation of citizens in the formation of the law, as well as a more effective dissemination and understanding of the law.” He explained that “this would improve knowledge of the law and its application. It could also help to better understand monogamous character, consensual rules, equality and the rights and duties of the law, regarding marriage and the family”.

This proposal to establish an autonomous law on Marriage and Family follows a presentation by the Ministry of Justice, suggesting an amendment to the legal marriage regime and regulation of the Civil Registry.

The LRC has been comparatively examining family legal regimes, including those of countries that have adopted specific family laws.