Question to the Ministry of Justice:
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 3 August (HL7029) and by Lord Keen of Elie on 4 August (HL7031), what is the timetable for (1) their proposed interim reform of the law governing approved premises for marriages and civil partnerships, (2) the proposed limited reform and non-legislative options relating to religious weddings, and (3) the implementation of the provisions in the Civil Partnership, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc) Act 2019 for the introduction of an electronic system of marriage registration and the update of the marriage entry to include the names of both sets of parents of a couple.
The Government announced in June 2019 that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. This is an important and complex social policy reform and requires careful thought and consideration. As part of the review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent.
The Law Commission has published its consultation paper and the Government, following the final report, will decide on provision on the basis of the Law Commission’s recommendations.
In parallel, the Government made clear when it announced the Law Commission project that it would also, as an interim measure, undertake work to allow more civil weddings and civil partnerships to take place outdoors through secondary legislation.
Alongside the Law Commission project, the independent Sharia review recommended an offence apply to religious celebrants marrying in a ceremony that is outside the ambit of the Marriage Acts. Any legislative proposal, including such an offence, must be thoroughly assessed for its fairness to all religious groups and for how far it could achieve the change of practice intended. That is why it is with the greatest care that the Government is continuing the exploration of both limited reform and non-legislative options that it began in detail last year.
On the question of timing the Government will make its intentions clear in due course.
And in regard to the implementation of the provisions in the Civil Partnership, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc) Act 2019, the Home Office is currently working on the secondary legislation, which will need to be debated in Parliament, to enable these changes to be introduced and an implementation date will be announced in due course.
1. Briefing paper for second reading
20/10/2016 - Bill Documents
Found: details on
: 1. Content of marriage
2. Humanist marriage ceremonies
16/07/2019 - Parliamentary Research
Found: 2019 Humanist marriage ceremonies By Catherine Fairbairn Inside: 1. Where may a marriage ceremony take
3. Mothers' details on marriage certificates
24/10/2018 - Parliamentary Research
Found: details on marriage certificates By Catherine Fairbairn Inside: 1. Content of marriage certificates:
4. A consultation on same-sex religious marriage and conversion entitlements in Northern Ireland
20/01/2020 - Government Equalities Office
- View source
5. A consultation on same-sex religious marriage and conversion entitlements in Northern Ireland
20/01/2020 - Northern Ireland Office
- View source
1. Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021
23/03/2021 - Lords Chamber
1: the Marriage Act 1949 to enable the introduction of a schedule-based system for the registration of marriages - Speech Link
2. Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill
18/01/2019 - Lords Chamber
1: purpose of Clause 1 is to address an issue with marriage entries. There is currently provision for only - Speech Link
3. Draft Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021
10/03/2021 - General Committees
1: the Committee has considered the draft Registration of Marriages Regulations 2021.It is a pleasure - Speech Link
4. Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019
05/11/2019 - Lords Chamber
1: opposite-sex couples in England and Wales to form civil partnerships. The Government want to see more people formalise - Speech Link
5. Registration of Marriage Bill [HL]
26/01/2018 - Lords Chamber
1: injustice. When a couple are married and that marriage is registered, there is currently provision only - Speech Link