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Draft Marriage and Civil Status (Amendment No. 4) (Jersey) Law

Start date: 03/10/2017

Status: Report published

What is the review about?

The Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel reviewed changes to the Marriage and Civil Status Law.

The main changes introduced by the draft law are the introduction of same-sex marriage and the ability to hold open-air weddings. It also introduces other procedural changes to the marriage process. The States Assembly gave in-principle approval to the introduction of same-sex marriage and open air weddings in 2015.

Aims of the Review

The purpose of the review was to examine how effectively the draft law implements the decisions of the States Assembly. This included the adequacy of the law in:

  • allowing for same-sex couples to get married in Jersey;
  • providing protections for religious organisations;
  • allowing for open air weddings;
  • streamlining and bringing up to date the marriage process.

Public Call for Evidence

The Panel issued a public call for evidence in order to hear from all interested stakeholders who wished to comment on matters contained within the draft law.

The Draft Law

The Draft Marriage and Civil Status (Amendment No.4) (Jersey) Law was lodged by the Chief Minister on 3rd October 2017 and the principles were debated by the States Assembly on 14th November 2017. The articles of the law were then referred for scrutiny.

A link to the draft law is included at the bottom of this page.

What will happen to my evidence?

Written submissions will generally be uploaded to the Scrutiny website, however, we reserve the right not to release certain submissions into the public domain.

Any evidence received under a confidential or private agreement, in accordance with Jersey Data Protection legislation will not be released into the public domain. For further information please contact the Scrutiny Office.

Terms of reference

  1. To conduct detailed legislative scrutiny of the Draft Marriage and Civil Status (Amendment No.4) (Jersey) Law to ensure the accuracy and adequacy of the draft law. This will include:
    • examining whether the proposed changes to the Marriage and Civil Status Law as set out in the draft law implement the decisions of the States Assembly in approving the introduction of same-sex marriage and open air marriages;
    • examining the protections afforded to religious organisations and officials under the “quadruple lock” (as defined in the draft law);
    • examining the other proposed changes to the marriage and registration process, including;
      • the ability for the States to increase the age of marriage by Regulations in the future;
      • the amended appointment process and responsibilities of the Superintendent Registrar and Parish Registrars;
      • the introduction of civil celebrants to replace delegates of the Superintendent Registrar;
      • the conversion of civil partnerships to a marriage;
      • new safeguards against forced and sham marriage.
  2. To examine the consequential changes to other legislation, including the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013.

Publications

Lead officer(s)

Simon SpottiswoodeTelephone: 01534 441017   Email:s.spottiswoode2@gov.je