Justices, Judges, Magistrates, and legal researchers of the Judiciary participated in a full day training session on  7 January 2022 to become more familiar with the amendments made to the Civil Code of Seychelles.

The training hosted on Judiciary premises at the Palais de Justice, was led by lawyer and member of the National Assembly, Bernard Georges, who was part of the committee together with Justice Dr. Mathilda Twomey and other stakeholders to modernize the laws.

“In reforming the law, focus was on simplifying terms and applications of the law,” Mr. Georges explained at the training session.

He presented participants with an 80 page concordance first drafted by Professor Tony Angelo, who first initiated the law reform exercise. Mr. Georges altered parts of the concordance so it would give a breakdown of the new articles in the code, the existing one, and how it’s applied in other jurisprudence – this with the aim to further help the judicial officers get better acquainted with the changes.

Some of the main changes to the Civil Code include; a modern language, gender neutral terms, and an easier format where all articles are numbered in English. They also introduced French words where necessary to further explain a word or notion.

Other notable changes include the rejection of the word “illegitimate”, en ménage relationships given validity especially in property disputes, the introduction of a Curator to work solely on succession cases so they are completed in time, and not allowing marriage under the age of 18 regardless of consent from a parent, judge, etc.

With this amended Civil Code, all judicial decisions will now be binding on all lower courts.

It took the committee approximately 10 years to complete this law reform process.