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Report No. 133

Fifth Recommendation

(Recognising that not only a 'father' but also a 'mother' has a claim, to the exclusion of others, to be appointed a guardian of a minor unless considered unfit by the court).

5.5. Section 19(b) of the Guardians and Wards Act of 1890, which inter alia provides that the court will not be authorised to appoint the guardian of the person of a minor whose 'father' is living and is not, in the opinion of the court, unfit to be the guardian of the person of the minor, deserves to be amended so as to accord equal treatment to the 'mother' by incorporating a reference to 'mother' along with that of the 'father'.

It should be provided that the court will not be authorised to appoint the guardian of the person of a minor whose 'father or mother' is living and is, in the opinion of the court, not unfit to be the guardian of the person of the minor, for there is no rational basis for discriminating between the 'father' of a minor on the one hand and the 'mother' of a minor on the other in the context of this provision. A consequential amendment also needs to be made in section 41(e) by substituting the words "father or mother" in place of the word "father" wherever it occurs therein.

(See para. 4.7.)



Removal of Discrimination against Women in matters relating to Guardianship and Custody of Minor Children and elaboration of the Welfare Principle Back




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