Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 14:54 GMT

Law No. 65-17 of 23/06/65 containing the Code of Dahomean Nationality

Publisher National Legislative Bodies
Author Republic of Benin
Publication Date 23 June 1965
Reference BEN-115
Cite as Law No. 65-17 of 23/06/65 containing the Code of Dahomean Nationality [Benin],  23 June 1965, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b5b14.html [accessed 24 July 2014]
Comments This is an unofficial translation published in Nationality and Statelessness, A Collection of National Laws, Volume I, Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs, Ferney Voltaire, France, 1996. The Law, dated 23 June 1965, was published in the Journal Officiel de la République du Dahomey, 75th year, No. 17, dated 1 August 1965.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Preliminary Title. General provisions

Article 1

Dahomean nationality attaches at birth, as the nationality of origin, by operation of law.

Dahomean nationality is acquired and lost after birth either by operation of law or by the decision of a public authority under the law.

Article 2

Provisions regarding nationality contained in international treaties or agreements duly ratified and published shall have effect even though contrary to the provisions of Dahomey internal legislation.

Article 3

On no account shall a change of nationality result from an international convention unless expressly provided for.

Article 4

Where a change of nationality is, under the terms of an international convention, subject to the accomplishment of an act of option, the latter shall be determined in its form by the law of the contracting State where it is in force.

Article 5

Majority for the purposes of this Code is attained at the age of twenty-one years.

Article 6

Descent shall affect the attribution of Dahomean nationality only if proved in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Title I. Attribution of Dahomean nationality by origin

Chapter I. Attribution of Dahomean nationality through birth in Dahomey.

Article 7

Dahomean nationality is attached to any person born in Dahomey of a father born in Dahomey.

Those two conditions are presumed to be fulfilled by a person having his usual residence in Dahomey and possessing the status of Dahomean. Proof to the contrary may be brought in the forms and conditions provided for in Title 5 of the present law.

Article 8

Dahomean nationality is attached to any person born in Dahomey of a mother born in Dahomey subject to the minor's right to renounce Dahomean nationality within six months before his majority.

Article 9

Dahomean nationality is attached to any stateless person born in Dahomey of either unknown or stateless parents.

Article 10

A new-born child found in Dahomey shall be presumed prima facie to have been born in Dahomey.

Article 11

The provisions of Articles 7 and 8 of this law are not applicable to children born in Dahomey to foreign diplomatic representatives and career consuls or foreign representatives and officials accredited to international organisations based in Dahomey.

Provided that such children may voluntarily acquire Dahomean nationality under Article 28 of this law.

Chapter II. Attribution of Dahomean nationality by descent

Article 12

Dahomean nationality is attached to:

(1) a child born of a Dahomean father;

(2) a child born of a Dahomean mother and whose father is unknown or stateless.

Article 13

Dahomean nationality is attached to the child born of a Dahomean mother and a foreign father, subject to the minor's right to renounce Dahomean nationality within six months before his majority, if he was born outside Dahomey.

Chapter III. Common provisions.

Article 14

Any minor child may, without authorisation, exercise his right to renounce Dahomean nationality as provided for in Articles 8 and 13 through a declaration in accordance with Article 54 and following articles of this law.

He may renounce that right in the same conditions if he is over the age of eighteen. If he is over the age of sixteen and under eighteen, he shall need the authorisation of the parent exercising parental authority over him or, as the case may be, the authorisation of his tutor after due consultation of the family council.

Article 15

In the cases referred to in the foregoing Article, no individual is allowed to renounce Dahomean nationality unless he proves that he holds, by affiliation, a foreign nationality and, if need be, that he has met the military obligations imposed by the foreign country he is a national of, subject to the provisions of international agreements.

Article 16

A minor Dahomean shall lose the right to renounce Dahomean nationality if he enters the armed forces of Dahomey.

Title II. Acquisition of Dahomean nationality

Chapter I. Acquisition of Dahomean nationality

Section 1. Means of acquisition of Dahomean nationality by descent

Article 17

Dahomean nationality is attached to any non Dahomean child adopted by a national of Dahomey or by spouses of Dahomean nationality, provided he shall have the right to renounce Dahomean nationality within six months before his majority. He may renounce that right under Article 14 and 15.

Section 2. Acquisition by marriage

Article 18

Subject to the provisions of Articles 19, 20, 22 and 23, a foreign woman marrying a Dahomean national acquires Dahomean nationality at the moment of celebration of the marriage.

Article 19

A woman whose national law permits her to retain her nationality of origin may declare, prior to the celebration of the marriage and in the form prescribed by Article 54 and following Articles of this law, that she declines Dahomean nationality.

She may exercise this right without authorisation even if she is a minor.

Article 20

Within six months after the celebration of the marriage, the Government may by decree oppose such acquisition.

Where the marriage has been celebrated abroad, the time limit mentioned above shall be set from the date of transcription of the act on the civil status registers of the diplomatic or consular representatives of Dahomey.

In case of opposition of the Government, the person concerned shall be deemed never to have been a Dahomean.

Article 21

Within the time period mentioned in the foregoing Article, a woman having acquired Dahomean nationality by marriage, shall neither have the right to vote nor be eligible for office if registration on the electoral rolls or exercise of elective functions and mandates is subordinated to the possession of Dahomean nationality.

Article 22

The marriage has effect on the attribution of Dahomean nationality only if it is celebrated according either to the Dahomean law and customs or the law of the country of celebration. If celebrated according to one of the Dahomean customs, it shall have to be recorded in writing to have effect under the present Article.

Article 23

A woman shall not acquire Dahomean nationality if her marriage with a Dahomean national is declared null and void.

Article 24

Any person born in Dahomey of foreign parents may acquire Dahomean nationality when he attains his majority provided that on such date he has had his residence in Dahomey, and if need be, his usual residence in Dahomey from the age of sixteen.

Article 25

The minor child may declare within six months before attaining his majority and in accordance with the provisions of Article 54 and following Articles of this law, that he declines Dahomean nationality. He may exercise this right without authorisation.

During the same period, the Government may, by decree, prevent such acquisition.

Article 26

A foreigner fulfilling the requirements provided for under Article 24 for acquisition of Dahomean nationality may decline it only in accordance with the provisions of Article 15.

He shall lose this right if he voluntarily enters the Dahomean army.

Article 27

The provisions .of Section 2 are not applicable to children born in Dahomey to foreign diplomatic representatives or career consuls or foreign representatives and officials accredited to international organisations based in Dahomey, provided that such children may voluntarily acquire Dahomean nationality under Article 28.

Article 28

A minor child born in Dahomey may claim Dahomean nationality by declaration in accordance with the provisions of Article 54 and following Articles provided that, at the time of the declaration, he has had his residence in Dahomey for at least five years.

Article 29

A minor over eighteen years may claim Dahomean nationality without any authorisation.

A child over sixteen but under eighteen years of age may claim Dahomean nationality only with the authorisation of the parent exercising parental authority over him or, as the case may be, with the authorisation of his tutor after due consultation with the family council.

Article 30

Subject to the provisions of Articles 31 and 57, the person concerned shall acquire Dahomean nationality from the date of submission of the declaration.

Article 31

Within six months from the date of the declaration, the government may, by Decree, oppose acquisition of Dahomean nationality.

Section 5. Acquisition of Dahomean nationality by decision of the public authorities.

Article 32

Acquisition of Dahomean nationality by decision of the public authorities results from naturalisation or re-acquisition granted to a person at his request.

Paragraph 1. Naturalisation

Article 33

Naturalisation shall be conferred by decree after inquiry.

Article 34

Naturalisation may not be conferred on a person who does not have his residence in Dahomey at the time of the signature of the decree.

Article 35

Naturalisation may be conferred on foreigners fulfilling the following requirements:

(1) having attained the full age of twenty-one years in accordance with Article 5.

(2) justifying habitual residence in Dahomey for three years up to presentation of the application, subject to restrictions provided for in Article 36 of this law.

(3) being of good characters and morals and not having been sentenced to a term of more than one year of imprisonment for an offence against ordinary law, not expunged by rehabilitation or amnesty.

(4) being of sound body and mind.

(5) justifying of their assimilation in the Dahomean community, notably by a sufficient knowledge of a Dahomean language or the official language, according to their condition.

Article 36

Notwithstanding the provisions of the foregoing Section, no probationary period shall be required of:

(1) a foreigner born in Dahomey or married with a Dahomean woman.

(2) the wife and child having come of age of a foreigner acquiring Dahomean nationality.

(3) a foreigner having come of age and adopted by a Dahomean national.

(4) a foreigner who has rendered exceptional services to Dahomey and whose naturalisation would be highly advantageous to Dahomey.

Paragraph 2. Restoration

Article 37

Restoration of Dahomean nationality shall be conferred by decree after inquiry.

Article 38

Restoration shall be conferred without condition of age or probation to any person residing in Dahomey but subject to necessity of proof that the applicant was formerly a Dahomean national.

Article 39

Restoration shall not be conferred to

(1) any person deprived of Dahomean nationality under Article 51 of the present law, unless deprivation was motivated by a criminal conviction expunged by rehabilitation or amnesty.

(2) a foreigner subjected to a deportation or house arrest order where the order has not been recalled.

Chapter II. Effects of acquisition of Dahomean nationality

Article 40

Acquisition of Dahomean nationality implies enjoyment from the same date thereof of all rights attached to nationality, subject to disabilities prescribed for in the following Article and special laws.

Article 41

The naturalised foreigner is subjected to the following disabilities:

(1) Within five years from the date of the naturalisation decree, he shall not be appointed to any office provided for by the Constitution or elective mandates which may be discharged only by a Dahomean national.

(2) Within three years from the date of the naturalisation decree, he shall not be able to vote where Dahomean nationality is conditional for registration on electoral rolls.

(3) Within three years from the date of the naturalisation decree, he shall not be appointed to any public office remunerated by the State or hold a ministerial function.

Article 42

If the naturalised person has rendered outstanding services to Dahomey or if his naturalisation is of exceptional interest to Dahomey, these foregoing disabilities may be all, or partially annulled by the naturalisation decree.

Article 43

Dahomean nationality is attached, with full rights, to a minor child whose father, or mother if the father is dead or unknown, acquires Dahomean nationality.

Dahomean nationality is attached, with full rights, to the minor adopted child if the adopter or the spouses, in case of adoption by both spouses, acquires Dahomean nationality, subject to his right of renouncing it under Article 17.

Article 44

The provisions of the foregoing Article are not applicable:

(1) to a married minor child;

(2) to the child who served in the armed forces of his country of origin.

Title III. Loss and deprivation of Dahomean nationality.

Chapter I. Loss of Dahomean nationality.

Article 45

Dahomean nationality is lost by any minor Dahomean exercising the right to renounce Dahomean nationality under Articles 8, 13, 17 and 43.

Article 46

Dahomean nationality is lost by:

(1) any adult Dahomean national who wilfully acquires a foreign nationality when, previously and in view of acquiring such nationality, he had been authorised to lose Dahomean nationality by the Dahomean government .

Authorisation shall be granted by decree.

(2) Any Dahomean, even a minor, possessing a foreign nationality and authorised by the Dahomean government, at his request, to lose Dahomean nationality.

Any person over sixteen may formulate the foregoing request. The authorisation shall be granted by decree.

If need be, the minor shall need an authorisation in accordance with the provisions of Article 29.

Article 47

A Dahomean national who loses Dahomean nationality is freed from allegiance to Dahomey:

(1) in the case under Article 45, from the date of submission of the application;

(2) in the case under Article 46, (1) from the date of acquisition of the foreign nationality,

(3) in the case under Article 46, (2) from the date of the decree authorising him to lose Dahomean nationality.

Article 48

A Dahomean woman marrying a foreigner shall retain her Dahomean nationality unless she renounces it, by special request, at the moment of the marriage and in the manner prescribed by Article 54 and following Articles of this law.

She may make a declaration without authorisation even as a minor.

No such declaration shall be valid unless, according to her husband's national law, the wife will or may acquire his nationality.

In that case, she is freed from allegiance to Dahomey from the date of celebration of the marriage

Article 49

A Dahomean national acting as a national of a foreign country may be declared, by decree, to have lost Dahomean nationality if he possesses the nationality of such foreign country.

In that case, he is freed from allegiance to Dahomey from the date of the decree.

The loss of nationality may be extended to his wife and minor children if they themselves possess a foreign nationality, provided that it shall not be extended to the minor children when not extended to the wife.

Article 50

Dahomean nationality is lost by any Dahomean national who, occupying a post in a public service of a foreign State or a foreign army, retains that post notwithstanding an injunction by the Dahomean government to resign it.

The person concerned shall be declared to have lost Dahomean nationality, by decree and without consultation, six months after the date of the notification, unless he has resigned his post within the time limit or it was established that he was in the absolute impossibility to do so. In that case, the six months period is set from the day the cause of impossibility disappears.

The person concerned is freed from allegiance to Dahomey from the date of the decree.

The loss of nationality may be extended to his wife and minor children if they themselves possess a foreign nationality, provided that it shall not be extended to the minor children when not extended to the wife.

Chapter II. Deprivation of Dahomean nationality.

Article 51

Any person who has acquired the status of Dahomean may be deprived of the Dahomean nationality by decree:

(1) if he has been convicted of an act defined as a criminal act or an offence against the internal or external security of the State;

(2) if he has committed, in favour of a foreign State, acts incompatible with his status of Dahomean or harmful to the interests of the State;

(3) if he has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of over five years in Dahomey or abroad for an act considered as a crime by Dahomean law;

(4) if he has been convicted for non submission to his military obligations.

Article 52

Deprivation is incurred only if the events contemplated by the foregoing Article took place within ten years of acquisition of Dahomean nationality, and may be pronounced only within ten years from the perpetration of such acts.

Article 53

Deprivation may be extended to the wife and minor children of the person concerned if they are foreign nationals or if they have kept a foreign nationality, provided that it shall not be extended to the minor children when not extended to the wife.

Title IV. Conditions and forms of acts relating to acquisition or loss of Dahomean nationality

Chapter 1. Declarations of nationality, registrations and decrees opposing acquisition of Dahomean nationality

Article 54

Any declaration aiming at acquiring, declining or renouncing Dahomean nationality, or abandoning the right to renounce it under the circumstances prescribed by law, shall be signed before the President of the Civil Court or the Judge sitting at the chief-towns of the subdivision in which the applicant resides.

A claimant residing outside Dahomey shall present his declaration before a diplomatic or consular representative of Dahomey.

Article 55

Any declaration of nationality presented under the foregoing Article shall be void unless registered at the Ministry of Justice.

Article 56

Where the person concerned does not satisfy the conditions required by law, the Minister of Justice shall refuse to register the declaration. The motivated refusal shall be notified to the applicant who, within two months, may appeal to the Civil Court which will decide on the validity or nullity of the declaration.

Article 57

Where the Government, in accordance with Article 31, opposes the acquisition of Dahomean nationality, it shall act by decree in accordance with a report made by the Minister of Justice. The applicant duly notified has the right to produce documents and notices.

The decree shall intervene at the most six months after the declaration.

Article 58

If, within the six months following the date of the declaration, there has been neither a decision to refuse registration nor a decree establishing the opposition of the Government, the Minister of Justice shall transmit to the declarant, at his request, a copy of his declaration mentioning the completed registration

Article 59

Unless the Civil court has already ruled in res judicata in the case provided for in Article 56, the validity of a registered declaration may be contested at any time by the Legal Department or any person concerned. In this case, the Legal department shall be made a party to the suit.

Article 60

Where the Government, in accordance with Articles 20 and 25, opposes the acquisition of Dahomean nationality, it shall act by decree issued by the Council of Ministers, in accordance with a report by the Minister of Justice. The applicant duly notified shall have the right to produce documents and notices.

The decree shall intervene either within one year as provided for in Article 20 or before the date the applicant attains majority as provided for in Article 25.

Chapter II. Decisions relating to naturalisations and restorations

Article 61

Decrees of naturalisation and restoration shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Dahomey. They take effect from the date of their signature but without prejudice to the validity of the acts in the law of the person concerned, or to the rights acquired by third parties before publication.

Article 62

When it appears after a decree of naturalisation or restoration that the person concerned did not satisfy the conditions required by law for that purpose, the decree may be revoked within a year from the date of publication.

Article 63

When the person concerned has knowingly made a false declaration, submitted a document containing false or incorrect information or used fraudulent means to obtain the naturalisation or restoration, the issued decree may be rescinded by a decree made in accordance with a report by the Minister of Justice. The person concerned duly notified has the right to produce documents and notices.

The decree of withdrawal shall intervene within two years from the discovery of the fraud.

Provided that when the validity of acts executed before the decree of withdrawal was subjected to the acquisition of the status of Dahomean, such validity shall not be contested on the ground of non acquisition of Dahomean nationality.

Article 64

Where the conditions required for naturalisation and restoration are not fulfilled, the Minister of Justice declares the request inadmissible in a motivated decision notified to the person concerned.

Article 65

Where the Minister of Justice rejects a request for naturalisation or restoration, his decision shall not be motivated. It shall be notified to the person concerned.

Chapter III. Decisions relating to the loss of Dahomean nationality

Article 66

Decrees authorising the loss of Dahomean nationality shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Dahomey. They take effect from the date of their signature but without prejudice to the validity of the acts in the law of the person concerned, or to the rights acquired by third parties before publication.

Article 67

Where the Government rejects a request for authorisation of loss of Dahomean status, its decision shall not be motivated. It shall be notified to the person concerned.

Article 68

Where the Government declares, under the provisions of Articles 49 and 50, that a person has lost Dahomean nationality, a decree is issued in accordance with a report from the Minister of Justice. The person concerned duly notified has the right to produce documents and notices.

The decree extending the loss of Dahomean nationality to the wife and minor children of the person concerned is issued in the same forms.

Article 69

Decrees declaring, as provided in the foregoing Article, that a person has lost Dahomean nationality shall be published and take effect under the terms set in Article 66.

Chapter IV. Decrees of deprivation

Article 70

Where the Minister of Justice decides the deprivation of Dahomean nationality towards a person, under the provisions of Article 51, he shall notify the person concerned personally or at his domicile of the foreseen measure; if the domicile is unknown, the foreseen measure shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Dahomey.

The person concerned may send documents and notices to the Minister of Justice and Law within three months from the publication in the Official Gazette or notification at his domicile or within one month from the date he was personally notified

Article 71

Deprivation of Dahomean nationality is pronounced by decree issued in accordance with a report of the Keeper of the Seal, Minister of Justice.

The decree extending the deprivation of nationality to the wife and minor children of the deprived person under Article 53 shall be issued in the same forms.

Article 72

Decrees of deprivation shall be published in the Official Gazette and take effect under the terms set in Article 66.

Title V. Disputes over nationality

Chapter I. Competence of the judicial courts

Article 73

Courts of First Instance or their subsections are solely competent to deal with disputes concerning nationality as principal plea or following an appeal for excess of power against an administrative act

Article 74

Pleas of nationality and foreign nationality are of public nature. They must be raised by the judge on his own motion.

They constitute, before any jurisdiction other than the civil courts of common law, a detrimental question which obliges the judge to postpone the ruling until the issue has been settled in accordance with the procedure determined under Chapter II of this title.

Article 75

If the plea of nationality is raised before a repressive jurisdiction other than the Criminal Court, the latter shall, within thirty days, send to appeal before the competent civil court either the party invoking the plea, or the Public Prosecutor's office if the person concerned holds a certificate of Dahomean nationality delivered in accordance with Article 94 and following Articles.

The repressive jurisdiction shall postpone the ruling until the question of nationality has been settled or, when the civil court has not been referred to, until the above mentioned allotted time expires.

Article 76

The action shall be brought before the court of the domicile or failing this, of the residence of the person concerned or, if he has in Dahomey, neither domicile nor residence, before the Court of First Instance of Cotonou.

Chapter II. Procedure before the judicial courts

Article 77

The court, or its subdivision, is referred to through ordinary court procedure.

Article 78

Any person may bring before the civil court an action the main and direct subject of which being a judgement about his possession or non possession of the Dahomean nationality. For that purpose, he shall summon the State prosecutor who has sole authority to intervene without prejudice to the right of intervention of the concerned third party.

Article 79

The State Prosecutor has sole authority to bring against any person, an action the main and direct object of which being to establish whether the person concerned is or not a Dahomean national, without prejudice to the right of that person to intervene or contest the validity of the registered declaration, in accordance with Article 59.

Article 80

The State Prosecutor has obligation to act, if requested, by a public administration or a third party having invoked a plea of nationality before a jurisdiction which postponed its ruling in accordance with Article 74. The claimant party shall be involved and, unless it obtains legal aid, shall stand surety for the payment of legal fees and proceedings damages it may be sentenced to.

Article 81

Where the State is the main party before the civil court where a question of nationality is raised as an incidental plea, it shall only be represented by the State Prosecutor as far as the dispute on nationality is concerned.

Article 82

Where a question of nationality is raised before the civil court as an incidental plea between private parties, the public prosecution shall always be involved and heard in its substantiated conclusions.

Article 83

In any proceedings having for object, as incidental or principal plea, a dispute over nationality, a copy of the summons or if need be, a copy of the request shall be deposited, against receipt, with the Minister of Justice in accordance with the provisions of the present Chapter.

Any application not enclosing the justification of the receipt shall be declared inadmissible. No fundamental decision shall intervene before the thirty days period from the date of the deposit has elapsed. Exceptionally, the period of time may be shortened to ten days when the dispute over nationality has been the object of a detrimental plea before a jurisdiction ruling on electoral matters.

The provisions of the present Article are applicable to the exercise of the means of appeal.

Article 84

All final judgements on questions of nationality made under the terms of the foregoing Articles are res judicata against the world.

Article 85

Judgements of the repressive jurisdictions are never res judicata on a question of nationality when the civil jurisdiction has not been summoned to give a decision in accordance with the provisions of Article 75.

Chapter II. Proof of nationality before the judicial courts.

Article 86

The onus of the proof on questions of nationality shall rest with the person who, by an action or by an incidental plea of defence, claims that he possesses or does not possess Dahomean nationality.

Provided that the onus of the proof shall be transferred to the party who, by the same means, disputes the Dahomean nationality of a person in possession of a certificate of nationality in pursuance of Article 94 and following articles.

Article 87

Proof of a declaration to acquire nationality or a declaration of deprivation shall be established by the production of a registered copy of such declaration. In lieu of this, proof may be established, at the request of the applicant, by an attestation from the Minister of Justice certifying that the declaration has been duly signed and registered

Article 88

Where the law provides the right to sign a declaration aiming at renouncing or declining Dahomean nationality, proof that such a declaration has not been signed may only be established by an attestation delivered by the Minister of Justice, at the request of any claimant.

Possession of the status of Dahomean national implies, until proved otherwise, that such declaration has not been signed.

Article 89

Proof of a decree of naturalisation shall be established by the production either of the certified copy of the decree or a copy of the Official Gazette in which such decree was published.

In lieu of this, proof may be established, at the request of any claimant, by an attestation from the Minister of Justice certifying the existence of such decree.

Article 90

Where Dahomean nationality is granted or acquired by means other than declaration, naturalisation or restoration, proof shall be established by ascertaining the existence of all the conditions required by the law

Article 91

Proof of loss or deprivation of Dahomean nationality by decree in the circumstances referred to in Articles 46 (2), 49, 50 and 51, shall be established under the conditions prescribed by Article 89.

Article 92

Where Dahomean nationality is lost in circumstances not provided for in Articles 87 and 91, proof shall be established by ascertaining the veracity of the facts and acts which resulted in the loss of nationality.

Article 93

Apart from cases of loss and deprivation of Dahomean nationality, proof of foreign nationality may be established by any means.

Provided that proof of foreign nationality of a person possessing the status of a Dahomean may only be established by a demonstration that the person concerned does not satisfy any of the conditions imposed by law for possession of the status of Dahomean.

Chapter IV. Certificates of Dahomean nationality

Article 94

The President of the Court of First Instance or the Judge sitting at the chief-towns of subdivisions have exclusive jurisdiction to deliver a certificate of Dahomean nationality to any person proving that he has that nationality.

Article 95

Such certificates shall refer to the provision of the law under which the person concerned is a Dahomean national, together with the documents establishing his claim. It shall be prima facie proof of its truth.

Article 96

A temporary certificate of nationality may be delivered during the time period allotted to the government to oppose acquisition of Dahomean nationality.

Article 97

Where the President of the Court or the Judge sitting at the chief-towns of subdivisions refuses to deliver a certificate of nationality, he shall motivate his decision. The claimant may apply to the Minister of Justice who shall decide whether such certificate should be delivered or, if need be, shall deliver the certificate.

Title VI. Transitional procedures

Article 98

The provisions of Title I regarding the attachment of Dahomean nationality as the nationality of origin are applicable to any person born before the promulgation of this law and who is deemed to possess such nationality since birth but without prejudice to the validity of his acts in the law or to rights acquired by third parties.

For the purpose of Articles 12 and 13, if the person concerned was not born in Dahomey, he shall be deemed to possess Dahomean nationality if his parents fulfil, or would fulfil but for their death, the requirements under Chapter I, Title I, for the acquisition of Dahomean nationality through birth in Dahomey or they were, themselves, born of a parent fulfilling, or in case of his/her death deem to fulfil, the same requirements.

The minor foreign child adopted before the date of publication of the present law shall acquire Dahomean nationality retroactively if the adoptant or the adopting spouses acquire Dahomean nationality under the foregoing provisions.

Any person who attained majority at the date of publication of the present law or shall attain majority within six months from such date has the right to decline nationality as provided for by Articles 8, 13, 17 and 43,(2) in the forms and conditions set in Article 54 and following Articles within six months from the date of publication of this law. Any person exercising that right shall be deemed never to have acquired Dahomean nationality.

Article 99

The provisions of Article 24 and following Articles are applicable to any person born before the promulgation of this law, provided that those having attained majority had their residence in Dahomey at the date of promulgation.

Any person who attained majority at the date of publication of the present law or shall attain majority within six months from such date has the right to decline Dahomean nationality in the forms and conditions set in Article 54 and following Articles. During the same time period, the government may oppose acquisition of Dahomean nationality. In both cases, the person concerned shall be deemed never to have acquired Dahomean nationality.

Article 100

The provisions of Article 15 are applicable to the cases provided for in Article 98, paragraph 4 and Article 99, paragraph 2.

Article 101

The provisions of Articles 16 and 26, paragraph 2, shall not be applied against any person who joined the national armed forces before the date of publication of the present law.

Article 102

A foreign woman who, before the date of publication of the present law, had married a person recognised as a Dahomean national under the foregoing provisions, shall acquire Dahomean nationality under Article 18 and following Articles.

She shall have the right, under Article 19, to decline such nationality within one year from the date of publication of this law. Within the same time period, the government may oppose acquisition as provided for in Article 20.

A Dahomean woman who married a foreigner before the date of publication of the present law and acquired her husband's nationality by application of the his national law shall have the right of renunciation as provided for in Article 48 within one year from the date of publication of the law.

Article 103

Within six months from the date of publication of the present law:

(1) any person born in an African or Malagasy country who has had his residence in Dahomey for at least five years:

(2) the wife of the above mentioned person;

(3) any person married to a Dahomean woman for at least five years

may request Dahomean nationality by declaration in accordance with the provisions of Article 54 and following Articles.

The declaration may be signed without authorisation by any person having attained majority at the date of publication of the law.

Within six months following the date of publication of the law, the government may oppose acquisition of Dahomean nationality.

In case of non opposition, Dahomean nationality shall be acquired after the time limit mentioned in the foregoing paragraph has elapsed.

Such acquisition shall extend by right to any child under eighteen years of age at the date of publication of the present law.

Article 104

The time limit allotted to the government to oppose acquisition of Dahomean nationality, shall be deferred by decree for one year, if need be and for whatever reason.

Article 105

The detailed applications of this law and in particular the Seal fees payable to the Treasury and the emoluments received by the clerks for establishments of acts and procedures shall be prescribed by decree.

Article 106

The present law shall be enforced as a Federal law.

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