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Jakarta Post

Supreme Court introduces handbook on child marriage dispensations

  • Nina A. Loasana

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Sat, December 5, 2020   /  07:52 pm
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The 1974 Marriage Law sets the marriageable age for girls at 16 while for men it is 19, even though the 2002 Child Protection Law defines a child as anyone “under the age of 18”. (Shutterstock/File)

The Supreme Court published on Friday a manual providing guidance to judges on underage marriage exemptions in courts, in a bid to curb child marriages in the country. The legal age for marriage among girls was increased from 16 to 19 following an amendment to the Marriage Law in September last year. However, parents can request dispensations for their children from religious courts or district courts, which has been criticized as a loophole. In response to the amendment, the Supreme Court issued in November 2019 stricter regulation, providing judges with guidance on dealing with exemptions for children facing wedlock before the age of 19. The court has now introduced a handbook detailing the do's and don'ts for judges when processing underage marriage dispensation to ensure that every judge handling these cases understands their responsibility in reviewing the 2019 regu...