CHAPTER 34
CIVIL STATUS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART I

THE CIVIL STATUS DEPARTMENT

Offices of civil status

3. Offices of Civil Status.

4. Existing offices.

Civil status officers

5. Chief Officer of Civil Status.

6. Other officers may be appointed.

7. Temporary Officers during prevalence of epidemic disease.

8. Officers of civil status to be public functionaries.

Duties of the civil status officers

9. Chief Officer of the Civil Status.

10. Further duties of the Chief Officer of Civil Status.

11. Duties of other officers.

12. When an officer cannot act.

13. Yearly indexes.

14. Decennial tables.

PART II

REGISTERS AND ACT OF THE CIVIL STATUS

Registers

15. Keeping of registers.

16. Pages to be numbered.

17. Closing of registers.

18. Closed registers.

19. Instruments to be authenticated.

20. Power to verify.

21. Errors, etc., to be reported.

22. Extracts from registers.

23. [Repealed].

Rules as to registration of declarations

24. Date, etc. to be mentioned in every act.

25. Only statements of parties to recorded.

26. When parties may be represented by agents.

27. Witnesses to act.

28. Act to be read to parties and signed by them.

29. Acts of the civil status drawn up abroad.

30. When acts are not vitiated.

PART III

ACTS OF BIRTH

31. Period within which declaration of birth must be made.

32. Who may make declaration.

33. Facts to be mention in Act.

34. Information to be given to parents.

35. Declaration of birth of natural child.

36. Finding of newborn child.

37. Persons taking charge of infant.

38. Birth in prisons, etc.

39. Birth on board a ship registered in Seychelles.

39A. Birth on board an aircraft.

PART IV

ACTS OF MARRIAGE

Qualifications and conditions necessary for contracting marriage

40. Age of parties.

41. Consent.

42. Previous marriage a bar.

43. Marriage prohibited between relatives in direct line.

44. Collateral line.

45. Marriage prohibited between uncle and niece, etc.

46. Marriage of legitimate minor, what consent necessary.

47. Marriage of illegitimate minor, what consent necessary.

48. Application for consent of judge.

49. Appeal from refusal of parent or guardian to give consent.

50. Marriage not rendered null and void for lack of consent of parent or guardian if the judge has given consent.

51. [Repealed].

Publication

52. No marriage to take place before publication.

53. Acts of birth, etc., to be produced.

54. Affidavit, how made.

55. Publication, how made.

56. When marriage may take place.

57. [Repealed].

58. Publication of marriages to be celebrated abroad.

59. Minister may dispense with one publication.

Oppositions to marriage

60. Husband or wife may oppose marriage.

61. Ascendants may oppose marriage.

62. When collateral relative may oppose.

63. Consent of family council.

64. Notice of opposition.

65. Effect of opposition.

66. Judgements with respect to validity of act of opposition.

67. Damages against opposing party.

Dispensations

68. Dispensations, how obtained.

Proof of consent of parents, guardians, etc.

69. Proof of consent of parent, guardian, etc.

Celebration of marriage

70. Time and place of celebration.

71. Proceedings of celebration.

72. Act of marriage.

Legitimation of natural children in act of marriage

73. Legitimation.

Fees

74. No fees for marriage.

75. When fees or other formality connected with marriage may be remitted.

76. Marriage at private house.

Marriages in articulo mortis

77. Marriage where one party in articulo mortis.

78. Conditions for validity of marriage.

79. Minister to deposit act of marriage.

PART V

ACTS OF DEATH

80. Conditions of interment.

81. Registration of death.

82. Registration in cases of sudden death.

83. Owners and occupiers to declare deaths.

84. Death in prisons, etc.

85. Deaths in quarantine stations.

86. Deaths on board registered ships.

87. [Repealed]

88. Dead bodies.

89. Register of causes of death.

90. Deaths not duly registered before interment.

91. Death out of Seychelles, registration, interment.

PART VI

DIVORCE, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF CHILDREN ADOPTION, AND
CHANGES WITH RESPECT TO NAMES

92. Copy of judgement to be sent to Chief Officer of Civil Status.

Acknowledgement of natural children

93. Registration of acknowledgement.

Change of name

94. Application for change of name.

95. Notice of application in Gazette.

96. Chief Officer of Civil Status may authorise proposed change.

97. Notice of authorisation to be published.

98. Proviso relative to name assumed under contract of marriage, testament and donation.

99. Chief Officer of Civil Status to rectify acts of civil status.

PART VII

AMENDMENT AND CANCELLATION OF ACTS OF THE CIVIL STATUS

100. Amendment of Acts.

101. Powers of Attorney-General.

102. Costs.

103. Judgement not binding upon parties not called.

104. Amendment to be noted in margin of act.

105. Completing acts left incomplete.

106. Costs of proceeding to be borne by officer in fault.

107. Acts completed under Judge’s order to be valid.

PART VIII

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

108. Penalty against officer for breach of provisions as to registration, etc.

109. Solemnising marriage in articulo mortis without complying with Act.

110. Destroying or injuring acts of the civil status.

111. Forgery by officer.

112. Counterfeiting, altering, etc., acts.

113. Penalty for making false statement or declaration.

114. Concealment, substitution of children, etc.

115. Penalty for concealing birth.

116. When a newborn child is found.

117. Burial without a permit.

118. Concealing the body of a person deceased by the effect of violence.

119. Penalty for obstructing marriages by unwarranted or malicious oppositions.

120. Penalties with respect to masters of ships registered in Seychelles.

121. Penalty for not making declarations in cases of suspicious, violent or sudden deaths.

122. Attempt.

123. Accomplices.

124. Offences to be reported to the Police.

125. Inquiries by Commissioner of Police.

126. Commissioner of Police to report to Attorney-General. Power of direction given to Attorney-General.

127. Fees payable under this Act.

PART IX

[Repealed]

PART X

Outer islands

Special provisions relating to late registration of births and deaths

157. Orders for late registration of births.

158. Rules as to permits of interment for La Digue and adjacent islands.

159. Rules as to interment on Outer Islands.

160. Persons granting permits to satisfy themselves as to cause of death.

161. Reference to police authority in certain cases.

162. Police officer in charge of Stations on islands may be appointed officer of civil status for certain purposes.

163. Police officers may be also given power as civil status officer.

SCHEDULE A

SCHEDULE B

4 of 1883,

16 of 1898,

7 of 1904,

4 of 1911,

14 of 1916,

4 of 1917,

14 of 1917,

9 of 1919,

11 of 1925,

1 of 1934,

21 of 1938,

7 of 1946,

9 of 1948,

10 of 1951,

1 of 1953,

15 of 1955,

4 of 1956,

9 of 1958,

5 of 1959,

7 of 1961,

3 of 1963,

19 of 1963,

13 of 1975,

23 of 1976,

22 of 1980,

16 of 1982,

17 of 1985,

7 of 1989,

10 of 2000.

SI 6 of 1971,

91 of 1975,

104 of 1975,

72 of 1976,

57 of 2000,

47 of 2009.

[Date of commencement: 22nd April 1893]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Civil Status Act.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Act” means an act of the civil status;

“affidavit” includes solemn affirmations;

“district” means the electoral area assigned to a branch civil status office or other civil status office for the purpose of registration of matters concerning the civil status of persons;

[Ins by s 2(a)(i) of Act 10 of 2000 w.e.f. 1 December 2000.]

“judicial department” includes the Supreme Court and any other court that may exist in Seychelles and the registries thereof;

“gazetted” means published in the Seychelles Government Gazette;

“interment” includes cremation;

[Ins by s 2(a)(ii) of Act 10 of 2000 w.e.f. 1 December 2000.]

“the court” means the Supreme Court;

“judge” means a Judge in Chambers;

“magistrate” means any judicial officer exercising magisterial powers;

“oath” includes solemn affirmations;

“office” means office of the civil status;

“officer or civil status officer” means officer of the civil status;

“Outer Islands” means the islands or groups of islands listed in Part II of the First Schedule of the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles;

[Ins by s 2(a)(iii) of Act 10 of 2000 w.e.f. 1 December 2000.]

“register” means register of the civil status.

PART I

THE CIVIL STATUS DEPARTMENT

Offices of Civil Status

3. Offices of Civil Status.

(1) There shall be in Victoria a public office where births, marriages and deaths and other matters concerning the civil status of persons shall be registered in accordance with the provisions of this Act, which office shall be called the Central Civil Status Office.

(2) There shall be a branch civil status office at Praslin, which shall be called the civil status office of the Praslin ward. Such office shall be the office for all civil status matters concerning the following Islands- Praslin, Aride, Ile aux Fous or Booby Island, Ile Curieuse, Ile Ronde, Ile Cousin or North Cousin, Ile Cousine or South Cousin.

[S 3(2) am by s 2(b)(i) of Act 10 of 2000 w.e.f. 1 December 2000.]

(3) The Minister may from time to time order that additional civil status offices be established in any district or Island at such places, for such time and under such conditions as may seem fit.

(4) The civil status office on La Digue shall be the office for all civil status matters concerning the islands of La Digue, Félicite, Marianne, Grande Soeur, Petite Soeur and Ile aux Cocos.

[S 3(4) ins by s 2(b)(ii) of Act 10 of 2010 w.e.f. 1 December 2000.]

(5) The civil status office at Anse Royale shall be the office for all civil status matters concerning the electoral areas of Anse Royale, Au Cap, Takamaka, Baie Lazare and Anse Boileau.

[S 3(5) ins by s 2(b)(ii) of Act 10 of 2010 w.e.f. 1 December 2000.]

4. Existing offices.

The civil status office existing at Victoria at the commencement of this Act shall be deemed the Central Civil Status Office for Seychelles, and any branch, additional or other civil status office, existing shall be deemed a branch, additional or other civil status office referred to in this Act.

Civil Status Officers

5. Chief Officer of Civil Status.

(1) It shall be lawful for the President to appoint a Chief Officer of the Civil Status who shall be the head of the Civil Status Office, and shall have the superintendence and control of all officers of the civil status in Seychelles.

(2) Such officer shall before entering on his duties take the oaths prescribed for officers of the civil status by the Official Oaths Act.

(3) The Chief Officer of the Civil Status shall have all the powers of a civil status officer and may act as such in any part of Seychelles.

6. Other officers may be appointed.

(1) It shall be lawful for the President to appoint from time to time as many proper persons as may be needed to be civil status officers. Such officers shall be civil status officers for the whole of Seychelles and shall have power to act in any office to which they may be attached or transferred by the Chief Officer of the Civil Status.

(2) The appointment of a civil status officer shall be notified in the Gazette.

(3) Every person so appointed shall on his first appointment take the oath prescribed by the Official Oaths Act.

(4) Every person having been appointed an officer or assistant or additional officer of the civil status for any district or island and officiating as such at the commencement of this Act shall be deemed an officer appointed under this Act.

7. Temporary Officers during prevalence of epidemic disease.

Whenever it shall be urgent during the prevalence of any epidemic disease, to provide for the prompt and immediate fulfilment of the legal formalities required previous to the burial of bodies, it shall be lawful for the President to appoint in any part of Seychelles as many temporary assistant civil status officer as may be required, concurrently with the then existing officers, to receive declarations of deaths and deliver permits of burials.

8. Officers of civil status to be public functionaries.

The Chief Officer of the Civil Status, every civil status officer, and any clerk acting as such shall be deemed public functionaries, and be entitled to the protection and be liable to the responsibilities and penalties which by any law are provided with regard to public functionaries.

Duties of the Civil Status Officers

9. Chief Officer of the Civil Status.

It shall be the duty of the Chief Officer of the Civil Status to enforce the provisions of this Act. He shall report to the Commissioner of Police any offence against this Act, and to the Minister any neglect of duty committed by any person charged with such duty, and any irregularity or omission appearing in any register.

10. Further duties of the Chief Officer of Civil Status.

(1) The Chief Officer of the Civil Status shall register or cause to be registered all births, marriages and deaths and all other acts connected with the civil status in the Republic of Seychelles.

[S 10(1) am by s 2(c)(i) of Act 10 of 2000 w.e.f. 1 December 2000.]

(2) He shall prepare and forward to the Minister within the first three months of each year an annual report on the vital statistics of Seychelles for the year preceding.

(3) He shall have the custody and be answerable for the safe keeping of—

(a) all registers, records and instruments connected with the Civil Status of which he has now the custody under Act 17 of 1871; and

(b) all registers, duplicate registers, documents and instruments which under the provisions of this Act, may be required to be kept in the central office.

[S 10(3) rep and subs by s 2(c)(ii) of Act 10 of 2000 w.e.f. 1 December 2000.]

11. Duties of other officers.

(1) The officers attached to the central office shall receive, draw up and register all acts of birth, marriage and death of Mahé and such other islands as may not be provided with a civil status office, under the supervision of the Chief Officer of the Civil Status who shall be directly answerable for the proper registration of such acts in conformity with the provisions of this Act. All such officers shall be under the immediate control of the Chief Officer of the Civil Status who may from time to time issue directions as to the distribution of work in the central office.

(2) Every officer of a district or additional office shall receive, draw up and register all acts of birth, marriage and death and all other acts connected with the civil status in his district and shall in all matters connected with the discipline and administration of the office under his charge, be bound to obey the directions of the Chief Officer of the Civil Status.

Every officer shall be bound to make every report and furnish ever return that may from time to time be required of him by the Chief Officer of the Civil Status.

12. When an officer cannot act.

An officer shall not receive, draw up and register any act in which his own status or that of any of his ancestors, parents, descendants, sisters or brothers shall be concerned, but such act may be received by any other officer.

This article shall not apply to any outlying island where there is only one person competent to act as civil status officer.

13. Yearly indexes.

Every officer charged with the keeping of any register of births, deaths or marriages shall prepare current alphabetical indexes of the content of such registers, and every entry in such indexes shall be made immediately after the act to which it relates has been registered. The said indexes shall be closed at the end of each year and shall be in duplicate. In the case of a district or additional office one of such duplicates shall be kept with the records of his office, and the other shall together with the duplicate of the register be sent to the Chief Officer of the Civil Status.

14. Decennial tables.

The Chief Officer of the Civil Status shall within twelve months after the commencement of this Act prepare a decennial alphabetical table with statistical abstracts of all deaths, births, marriages, adoptions and divorces which have occurred during the ten years ending the 31st December, 1892, and afterwards, shall prepare a similar decennial table within the first six months after each tenth year from the 31st December, 1891.

The said tables and abstracts shall be prepared and registered in accordance with forms prepared by the Chief Officer of the Civil Status.

Such alphabetical tables both annual and decennial shall further be typed, and a copy of the same sent to every office to be kept there and open to the public for information.

PART II

REGISTERS AND ACT OF THE CIVIL STATUS

Registers

15. Keeping of registers.

(1) Declarations of birth and death, and celebrations of marriage at any office shall be registered in printed books (hereafter called registers) kept accordingly to the forms given in Schedule A hereto.

(2) Separate registers shall be kept for birth (other than still-births), for deaths, and for marriages (other than marriages in articulo mortis). Such registers shall be in duplicate, they shall be of such size, and remain in use and be closed for and at such time, as the Chief Officer of the Civil Status may direct.

(3) Separate registers (not in duplicate) shall also be kept for the purposes of this Act for the registration of still-births, of causes of death, of marriages in articulo mortis, of banns of marriage, of decrees of divorce, of judges’ orders, of acts of acknowledgement of natural children, and of adoption. Each such register shall be of such size, and remain in use and be closed for and at such time as the Chief Officer of the Civil Status may direct.

(4) The Minister may, by regulation, amend schedule A.

16. Pages to be numbered.

(1) The pages of every register shall be numbered and shall also bear the initials, written or stamped, of the Chief Officer of the Civil Status of Seychelles.

(2) On each page one act only shall be inscribed.

(3) No blank page shall be left between two declarations but such acts shall be inscribed consecutively and without interruption.

17. Closing of registers.

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