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Mayotte - Religion

The traditional Mahorese society operates on the principles of group preeminence over the individual, matrilineality (defined in the maternal lineage) and matrilocality (family residence in the mother). Mahoran culture is based on a rich oral tradition.

The Muslim religion, established in Mayotte since the 15th century, occupies a major place in the organization of society. 95% of the Mahorais are Muslim and Sunni. Islam in Mayotte is not represented in the French Council of the Muslim Cult. The Mahorais have a moderate practice of Islam, even though children attend the Koranic school, usually early in the morning, before secular school.

Customary law inspired by Muslim law and African and Malagasy customs applies to the Mahorais who have retained their personal status, as is permitted by Article 75 of the Constitution: "citizens of the Republic who do not have the civil status of Common law, the only one referred to in Article 34, shall retain their personal status until they have renounced it ".

The law of May 11, 2001 relative to Mayotte maintains the existence of this civil status of local right and specifies the possibilities of renouncing this status in favor of the civil statute of common law. The personal status, civil status, mainly concerns the rights of the person and the family, as well as the economic rights. In these areas, the Mahorais, having retained their personal status, were subject to special rules: polygamy, the possibility of repudiation of the wife by the husband, inequalities of the sexes in matters of succession law, etc.

Disputes arising from the application of local law were within the jurisdiction of specific courts: the cadi court (first instance), the grand cadi (appellate court), the Muslim annulment chamber (disputes greater than 305) .

However, within the framework of the departmentalization project, a reform of the personal status of local law applicable to Mayotte has gradually been carried out to rest on the principles identified by the Constitutional Council. If the legislature can not call into question the very existence of civil status under local law, it may adopt "provisions to change its rules with a view to making them compatible with constitutionally protected principles and rights "(2003-474 CD of July 17, 2003).

The ordinance of 8 March 2000 on civil status in Mayotte had already introduced for the first time a minimum age for marriage for persons of personal status under local law. Similarly, the Overseas Program Act of 21 July 2003 made it possible to prohibit polygamy for persons who will reach the age required to marry as from 1 January 2005 and to prohibit unilateral repudiation of such persons Same people. The Immigration and Integration Act of 24 July 2006 put an end to the matrimonial guardian who represented the future wife and expressed her consent by requiring that the consent be expressed by the two spouses in person.

The Ordinance of 3 June 2010 on provisions relating to civil status in local law applicable to Mayotte and to the courts competent to deal with them has marked a very important development by aligning the age required to marry (the number of women has been increased from fifteen At eighteen years), by prohibiting polygamy and repudiation whatever the age of the persons concerned and, above all, by suppressing cadial justice. The ordinary judge is now exclusively competent to hear all cases relating to the application of civil status under local law between citizens of that status.

The Code of Civil Procedure provides for the possibility for the common law judge to commit a person of his or her choice to clarify it through consultation on customary law matters. However, a large majority of the population disregards its own status and in practice this possibility is rarely used. On the other hand, requests for changes in status were increasing sharply.





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Page last modified: 24-07-2017 18:27:51 ZULU