The Legislative Judges’ Attitudes Towards the Temporary Amended Law (Marriage: Pioneer Study)

Amal M. Al-Kharouf

Abstract


This study aims at identifying the attitudes of judges towards the amendment of the law, which raised the legal marriage age from 16 to 18. In addition to that, the study aimed at identifying the reasons that make judges approve early marriages. Moreover, the study aimed at pinpointing the consequences of females' early marriage (under 18) from the point of view of judges. Finally, the study suggested some recommendations that would reduce this phenomenon.

The study used the qualitative methodology to achieve its goals, in which a questionnaire has been designed and filled through interviewing all working judges at the courts and at the CJD in the city of Amman. A documented study has been also conducted for some cases of early married females under the age of 18.

The results of the study emphasized the existence of early marriage phenomenon even after amending the law, especially for girls as shown by the percentage of those marriages in the years 2001, 2002, 2003, approximately (14.55%, 11.60%, 13.37%), respectively. The judges stated that the new amendment of the law took into consideration some cases where the judges have the authority to approve an early marriage depending on the instructions of Judge of Chancellor, which at the end aims at reducing social problems.

There are various causes, economic and social, which make the judges approve the marriage of girls under 18, like reducing the economic burden on the girl’s family, protecting the girl from vice and decreasing the percentage of singles among girls. As for the husband’s family, early marriage is considered a kind of a distinguished social status accomplished through bragging about having lots of boys and girls. They also see that getting married at an early age will help reduce the age gap between the father and his son, which creates an intellectual harmony between them.

Still, negative consequences resulting from an early marriage are plenty. Social problems arise and increase especially in case of divorce. Early marriage demands taking responsibility in early age for females, which is hard for most of them due to their age. This means the lack of proper mental and psychological maturity as well as the lack of social and health experience. There is also a heavy financial burden that would lie on the husband’s father.

Most judges recommended that girls should be encouraged to continue their education and should be trained on how to treat their husbands and children by being provided with better family raising suitable for the society they live in.

The study suggested the following recommendations: 1. Reducing the percentage of female drop-out of schools, 2. Increasing awareness among parents and the young of negative effects of early marriage through various kinds of media, 3. Focusing on the important role of government institutions (legislative, legal and judiciary) to find proper mechanisms to protect both females and males from early marriage and to maintain their rights in such cases.


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