• Legal personality
  • Artificial persons
  • Natural persons
  • Incorporated association
  1. Legal personality

This refers to an attribute given to a person /an organization as described by law, such a person or an organization has legal obligation upon whish his/its behavior or conduct is governed.

  1. Artificial person

This also refers to a person or organization as defined by law; the law give such individual/organization a different status as relates the legal obligation that determines rights and duties e.g. a company registered under laws of Kenya has a legal personality and has separate entity from its members and can sue or be sued in a court of law and there considered as law of persons.

  1. Natural persons

This refers to an individual or persons as described by nature e.g. birth, character as incorporated. This referred to non – registered association i.e. they have no legal personality and thus cannot act as a person (artificial persons) and cannot sue or be sued in the court of law as a separate entity from its memLegal system of Marriages1. Statutory MarriaThese are types of marriages that are conducted and regulated by written laws and they are two types.

Christian (church marriage)

These take place between two people who proclaim a Christian faith and the marriages are carried out accordance with practice of particular denomination.

The marriage certificate is usually issued to the party and a copy of it sent to Attorney General Chamber.

Civil or registrar wedding

These kinds of marriages are conducted by the registrar of marriages at the Attorney general’s office in the DC’s office and the copies of the certificates are sent to the registrar of marriages.

Features of Statutory marriages

  1. Must be monogamous; when parties are married under statutory marriage they cannot conduct another marriage when they are still alive hence they commit a crime known as bigamy which is punishable for 5 years imprisonment.
  2. A notice of the intended marriage should always be given.
  3. The parties to the marriage have to be single.
  4. They have to be opposite gender
  5. Also to be 18 years and above
  6. Objection to the marriage is possible i.e. when a person has a good reason to object or stop the marriage he/she may do so within 21 days.

Rights and Duties under statutory marriages

  1. The partners have the right to engage in sexual intercourse with one another (conjugal rights).
  2. Be faithful to each other.
  3. If the life contributes to the acquisition of the matrimonial properties, then she is entitled to sharing of that property.

Customary marriage

Kenyan law recognizes that different communities have different ceremonies for marriages and they recognize these marriages. However, one or both parties to that marriage must be linked to that community whose customs their party relies; both parties must consent or agree to be bound by these customs.

Ceremonies for customary marriages

The type of ceremony differs from community to community but in most communities the marriages have symbols of payment of dowry.

There is no set of age limit but most communities consider puberty age to be right for marriage; however the children act opposes this act.

Customary marriage is potentially polygamous i.e. the man can marry as many wives as he is able to take care of. Under this marriage, the man has a duty to take care of the wives and also own everything including the wives. In customary marriages husbands are entitled to rectify the injustices i.e. beat (wife who commit an offence).

Women to women marriage

Some African communities encourage women to women marriages especially when she is wealthy and barren. She may marry another woman to bare children and the choice of a man she likes.

Islamic marriages

The assistant registrar in a mosque conducts this kind of marriage. The parties then sign a register and are then issued with the cert5ificates.

Condition for Islamic marriages

  1. A man is allowed to have four wives at a time.
  2. The parties to the marriage must profess the Muslim faith.
  3. The parties intending to marry must not be related.
  4. The dowry to be paid to the bride.
  5. There must be an offer by the groom and acceptance by the bride and there should exist a genuine agreement.
  6. There must be two witnesses during marriage session.

Hindu marriages

There is an act in Kenya which has reenacted Hindu marriage and divorces. A Hindu marriage is monogamous features one man one wife.

The parties must be single and not related in one way or the other.

Come we stay marriage

Where a man and a woman live together without any form of ceremony they are said to be cohabiting. This kind of marriage has been given recognition under the law of venture of communal law provision and the law presumes that when two such people stay together for a long period their intention is marriage; that such presumption of staying together uninterruptedly for a period of more than 2 years.

The judicial and separation and divorce

At times marriages do not last until the parties apart and such instances would hold.

The law of judicial and separation divorce; judicial separation s where a couple seeks a court order to allow them stay apart temporarily for a given time due to disagreement; it is a mere break in cohabitation.

Divorce is a permanent separation among the couples.

Grounds for separation and divorce

Cruelty; if one of the parties to a marriage is cruel to another then the offended party can apply for divorce or separation; cruelty can be physical/psychological.

Adultery; this is where one party have sexual intercourse outside marriage; since it is difficult to catch adulterers and fragrance depict of the act, courts always lie on circumstantial evidence to determine the adultery.

Desertion; this is where one spouse leaves the other for unreasonable or unjustifiable long period, then one can apply for divorce i.e. after 3 years of desertion.

Insanity; this associate with mental disorders where the husband deals/commits rape or unnatural sexual offences.

Conditions of Separation under African customary law

  • Witchcraft
  • Barrenness of the woman
  • Adultery by the woman
  • Laziness and related habit of the woman
  • Failure by the husband to maintain the wife and the children
  • Cruelty on the side of the man
  • Refusal to have sexual relation with the partner


This is a process by which the parental rights are transferred from the natural parent of the child to the other person attained by the law.

It is a legal process by which an adult person becomes the parent of the child.

  • Are set up through public and private agencies
  • People wishing to adopt are to apply either through the agency and be identified whether they are suitable.
  • Public policy charge little fee while private agencies higher fee as they apply to the court to have everything legally approved, this is made to the Attorney General.
  • An adoption agency then submits the report; the child and the adopting parent must be Kenyan citizens; the child must have been with the adoptive parent for 3 consecutive months, as adoption is governed in Kenya by the adoption Act cap 143.
  • Section 3 of the Act provides that an infant should be adopted.


It is a process of providing a child with the basic necessity of life to parent related issues due to lack of search of law.

Protectional circumstances include:-

  • Medical care
  • Education
  • Support (basic needs)


People who have direction of codes of government agency to care for the minors who are not their birth children; however full legal guardianship and full custody are still held by biological parents.

Arises out of death, insanity, divorce etc; the guardian parent normally form a close attachment to the child in areas such as clothing, food, education, health care etc.

Qualification for Adoption

  1. A resident of Kenya
  2. Economically stable
  3. At least 25 years older than the infant
  4. Must be pure in mind (insane)
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