Marriages Act, 1972

Marriages where either party is under sixteen not to be valid in law.

1.—(1) A marriage solemnised between persons either of whom is under the age of sixteen shall, subject to the next subsection, not be valid in law.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply where exemption from it has been obtained before the marriage from the President of the High Court (or a Judge of that Court nominated by the President thereof).

(3) The following provisions shall have effect in relation to an application under subsection (2) of this section—

(a) it may be made by or on behalf of either party to the intended marriage and without the intervention of a next friend,

(b) it may be made informally through the Registrar of Wards of Court in accordance with rules of procedure directed by the President of the High Court,

(c) it may be heard and determined in private,

(d) it shall not be granted unless the applicant shows that its grant is justified by serious reasons and is in the interests of the parties to the intended marriage,

(e) no court fee shall be charged in respect of it, and

(f) no further application in respect of the marriage may be made under that subsection.

(4) Any person to whom application is made in relation to the solemnisation of an intended marriage may, if he so thinks fit, request the production of evidence of age with respect to both parties or either party.

(5) Where a request is made under subsection (4) of this section—

(a) refusal or failure to comply with the request shall be proper reason for refusal of the application,

(b) it the request is complied with and the evidence shows that both parties or either party are or is under the age of sixteen, the application shall be refused unless the evidence is accompanied by the appropriate exemption under subsection (2) of this section.

(6) Where a person knowingly—

(a) solemnises or permits the solemnisation of a marriage which, consequent on the provisions of this section, is not valid in law, or

(b) is a party to such a marriage,

such person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding fifty pounds.

(7) Where a marriage would not be regarded as valid in law unless an exemption under subsection (2) of this section in respect of it has been granted, it shall not be registered save on production, to the person effecting the registration, of such exemption.