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“The Law Has To Be Just” – Magali Marin-Young

Sep 7, 2023

“The Law Has To Be Just” – Magali Marin-Young

Magali Marin-Young

According to Schulte’s attorney, they were fruitful in having the High Court declare that portion of the Families and Children’s Act unconstitutional.

Magali Marin-Young, SC, Attorney-at-law

“We were able to successfully argue before the court that that section was discriminatory against men, in breach of the constitution, because the Families and Children’s Act does not impose the same liability on a woman to maintain her children and that of her husband, whether she gave birth to those children or not.  So, we argued that in today’s modern society where men and women work, that it is unfair to impose, it is discriminatory, it is unjustified to impose liability on a man to maintain children that are not biologically his, if they belong to the person who he marries.  And the court agreed with us and declared Section 48, Subsection 1 of the Families and Children’s Act to be unconstitutional. So, in respect of this matter, it means that his former wife, they are now divorced, cannot bring an application under Section 48, Subsection 1, for maintenance.  There is no provision that she would be able to impose an obligation on him to maintain her children which are the children of other men.”

Isani Cayetano

“From a layman’s perspective, what is the lesson here should another individual find himself in a situation that was similar to the one that was faced by Mr. Schulte?”

Magali Marin-Young

“Well, you know, the law has to be just, the law has to be constitutional and it has to fit within the four corners of our Belize constitution and legislatures, many times, have laudable aims to protect women, to protect children.  But sometimes in those laudable aims and with every good intention, laws may be drafted in such a way that they discriminate and treat men unfairly.”

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