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Law Commission,GETTING MARRIED,A Scoping Paper,17 December 2015. Crown copyright 2015, This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence. v3 0 except where otherwise stated To view this licence visit. nationalarchives gov uk doc open government licence version 3 or write to the. Information Policy Team The National Archives Kew London TW9 4DU or. email mpsi nationalarchives gsi gov uk, Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to. obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned. This publication is available at www lawcom gov uk. Printed on paper containing 75 recycled fibre content minimum. THE LAW COMMISSION, The Law Commission was set up by the Law Commissions Act 1965 for the purpose of. promoting the reform of the law,The Law Commissioners are.
The Right Honourable Lord Justice Bean Chairman,Professor Nick Hopkins. Stephen Lewis,Professor David Ormerod QC,Nicholas Paines QC. Specialist adviser to the project Professor Rebecca Probert. The Chief Executive of the Law Commission is Elaine Lorimer. The Law Commission is located at 1st Floor Tower 52 Queen Anne s Gate London. The terms of this scoping paper were agreed on 25 November 2015. The text of this scoping paper is available on the Law Commission s website at. http www lawcom gov uk,THE LAW COMMISSION,GETTING MARRIED A SCOPING PAPER. Paragraph Page,GLOSSARY vii,CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1. Background 1 1 1,Previous proposals for reform 1 13 7.
What has changed to make reform a priority 1 21 10. Demand for an alternative option 1 22 11,Demand for a wider range of locations 1 28 14. Religious only marriages 1 33 17,The immediate catalyst for our work 1 37 19. The scoping exercise 1 40 19, Preliminary conclusions as to the need for reform 1 50 22. Out of scope 1 53 23,Policy assumptions 1 56 24,Structure of the paper 1 59 25. CHAPTER 2 WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR LAW REFORM 27,Introduction 2 1 27.
Far from modern 2 7 31,Unduly complex 2 16 35,Preliminaries 2 18 35. Location 2 34 42,Person responsible 2 50 50,Ceremony 2 56 51. Registration 2 63 53,Lack of certainty 2 65 54, Non compliance explicitly stated not to affect validity 2 67 54. Non compliance explicitly stated to affect validity 2 68 55. The concept of non marriage 2 70 56, Failure to specify the legal consequences of non compliance 2 73 57. Perceived unfairness 2 78 58, Lack of an option that is neither civil nor religious 2 79 59.
Differential consequences of non compliance 2 83 60. Differential levels of regulation 2 89 61,Different penalties for non compliance 2 94 64. Inefficiencies 2 96 64,Conclusion 2 103 66, CHAPTER 3 WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECTIVE OF A LAW REFORM. PROJECT 68,Introduction 3 1 68,The principles that should underpin reform 3 2 68. Certainty and simplicity 3 4 69,Fairness and equality 3 6 69. Protecting the state s interest 3 8 70,Respecting individuals wishes and beliefs 3 9 70.
Devising the overall objective 3 13 71, Legislating solely for marriages to be conducted by non religious. belief organisations 3 14 71,Legislating for universal civil marriage 3 24 73. Legislating for greater choice within a simpler legal structure 3 32 75. CHAPTER 4 FRAMING A LAW REFORM PROJECT 77,Introduction 4 1 77. Marriage Preliminaries 4 2 77,Who should receive the information 4 5 78. Who should give the information 4 9 79,Where should information be given 4 11 79.
How should information be dealt with 4 16 81, How should authorisation to marry be given 4 17 81. Authority to solemnize marriages 4 19 81,Location 4 29 84. The ceremony 4 39 86,The registration of marriages 4 46 87. The consequences of non compliance 4 52 88, Are any offences or sanctions needed to uphold the law of marriage 4 57 90. The issues that should be out of scope 4 61 90, The policy assumptions on which we would proceed 4 68 92.
Key policy issues for the Government 4 69 93,Summary of the scope of the project 4 73 95. In this glossary we set out how we use the following terms in this paper. Anglican this refers to the Church of England and the Church in Wales in. terms of marriage law in England and Wales these organisations are treated. differently from other religious organisations, Annulment where a court annuls a marriage it is declaring that a marriage. was never legally valid or has following the declaration become legally invalid. An annulment can also be called a decree of nullity. Approved premises premises at which civil marriages can be solemnized. following approval by a local authority for example a hotel. Authorised person a person appointed by the trustees of a registered. building to be present at and register the marriages that take place at that. registered building meaning that a registrar does not need to be present. Banns or banns of matrimony a form of Anglican preliminary for marriage. ceremonies in Anglican churches or chapels The publication of banns or the. calling of banns is an announcement in church of an intended marriage A. certificate of publications of banns is a written confirmation that banns have. been duly publicised and that there is legal authority for the marriage to take. Celebrant a celebrant is a person who officiates at a marriage ceremony or. marriage blessing, Celebrant system in some jurisdictions outside England and Wales the legal. validity of a marriage depends principally not on the place where the marriage. takes place but on the legal status of a person officiating or present at the. marriage we call this a celebrant system, Civil marriage or civil ceremony of marriage a marriage or the ceremony. leading to such a marriage that is conducted and recognised by the state and. which is not a religious marriage, Civil partnership a legal status acquired by same sex couples who register.
as civil partners which provides substantially the same legal rights and. responsibilities as marriage, Clerk in Holy Orders a bishop priest or deacon of the Church of England or. the Church in Wales Only clerks in Holy Orders can solemnize Anglican. Clandestine marriage historically a marriage solemnized by an Anglican. clergyman that did not comply with the requirements of the canon law. Codification the collection in one statute of all the law in a particular area. Common licence a form of Anglican preliminary for marriage ceremonies in. Anglican churches or chapels A common licence can only be issued by the. appropriate ecclesiastical authority for the Church of England or Church in Wales. in the diocese where the marriage ceremony will take place. Consolidation the replacement by a single statute of several statutes or parts. of statutes, Consolidating measure a Parliamentary procedure which allows legislation. to be consolidated and reformed in minor respects without the need for full. debate by Parliament, Deathbed marriage a marriage where one party is seriously ill not expected. to recover and cannot be moved, Diocese an administrative district of the Church of England and Church in. Wales which is under the supervision of a bishop Dioceses are divided into. Directory requirement a requirement within the marriage legislation that aims. to channel marriages into a standard form Failure to comply with a directory. requirement will not invalidate a marriage, Dissenter historically a Protestant member of any church other than the.
Established Church See also non conformist, Dissolution the legal termination of a civil partnership. Divorce the legal termination of a marriage, Established Church the church recognised by the law as the official church. of a state The Church of England is the Established Church of England the. Church in Wales is not an Established Church but retains vestiges of being an. Established Church within Wales with implications for marriage law. Forced marriage a marriage which may be legally recognised or not which. one of the parties entered into without free and full consent due to violence. threats or any other form of coercion, General Register Office the offices and staff of the Registrar General who. oversee the civil registration in England and Wales of births deaths and. Government White Paper a white paper is a document produced by the. Government setting out details of future policy on a particular subject allowing. the Government an opportunity to gather feedback before it formally presents. policies as a Bill before Parliament, Humanism the British Humanist Association s website states that there are. many definitions of humanism It says that a humanist is someone who. trusts to the scientific method when it comes to understanding how the. universe works and rejects the idea of the supernatural and is therefore. an atheist or agnostic, makes their ethical decisions based on reason empathy and a concern.
for human beings and other sentient animals, believes that in the absence of an afterlife and any discernible purpose to. the universe human beings can act to give their own lives meaning by. seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same. Interfaith an interfaith marriage ceremony or service is one that combines. elements from different religious and sometimes non religious traditions By. interfaith couple we mean a couple where the parties are of different faiths or. hold different beliefs, Mandatory requirement a requirement in the Marriage Act 1949 or other. legislation that is fundamental to a marriage failure to meet such requirements. will render a marriage void or a non marriage, Marriage certificate a certified copy of the entry in the marriage register book. Marriage register book official record of marriages legally recognised by the. Non conformist historically a Protestant who did not conform to the usages. and governance of the Established Church See also dissenter. Non marriage a marriage that falls so far outside the provisions of the. marriage legislation that it is neither a valid nor a void marriage. Notice any couple intending to enter a legally binding marriage must give. notice which means formally telling the state that they wish to marry and. providing certain required information for example name date of birth and. nationality, Open doors it is a statutory requirement under the Marriage Act 1949 that. marriages in registered buildings or register offices be solemnized with open. doors This has been interpreted by the Registrar General as requiring that the. public must have unfettered access to witness the marriage and to make. objections prior to or during the ceremony, Parish within the Church of England and Church in Wales an area overseen.
by a parish priest or cleric and which will have one or more parish churches A. number of parishes make up a diocese which is overseen by a bishop. Place of worship a place of worship certified pursuant to the Places of. Worship Act 1855 Once certified as a place of worship a building can also be. registered to solemnize marriages See also registered buildings. Preliminaries the steps that must be taken before a legally binding marriage. ceremony can take place Preliminaries can take several different forms but are. either civil meaning that they are dealt with by the registration service or. religious meaning that they are dealt with by the Church of England or the. Church in Wales By universal civil preliminaries we mean a situation where all. couples would be required to give notice to the registration service. Prescribed words declarations and words of contract that must be said. without variation by the parties to all marriages except Anglican marriages or. those solemnized according to the usages of the Jews or the Quakers Since. 1996 there has been a choice between three alternative authorised versions of. the prescribed words, Qualifying connection a connection that qualifies a person to marry in an. Anglican ceremony in a church other than the church in the parish in which he or. she resides or which is his or her usual place of worship A person has a. qualifying connection to a parish if in that parish he or she was baptised or had. his or her confirmation entered into the register book has resided there at any. time for not less than six months or has at any time habitually attended public. worship there for not less than six months A person also has a qualifying. connection if he or she has a parent who during his or her lifetime resided or. habitually attended public worship in that parish or has a grandparent who was. married in that parish, Register office the office of a superintendent registrar being one of the two. categories of locations at which a couple may have a civil marriage the other. being on Approved premises There must be a register office in each. registration district, Registered building a certified place of worship which is also registered for. the solemnization of marriages Religious marriage ceremonies conducted by. religious organisations other than those of the Anglican Jewish and Quaker. faiths must take place in registered buildings, Registering officer a person appointed by the Society of Friends responsible. for registering marriages solemnized according to its usages. Registrar an officer appointed by the council He or she is responsible for. registering marriages solemnized in a register office on approved premises or in. Civil marriage or civil ceremony of marriage a marriage or the ceremony leading to such a marriage that is conducted and recognised by the state and which is not a religious marriage Civil partnership a legal status acquired by same sex couples who register

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