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Report on Marriage Law published

Scrutiny Panel publishes report on draft Marriage and Civil Status Law

30 January 2018

On Monday 29th January 2018, the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel published its report on the Draft Marriage and Civil Status (Amendment No.4) (Jersey) Law.

Deputy John Le Fondré, Chairman of the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel, said:

“In the past two weeks we have published a series of amendments to improve the Draft Law.

The amendments are based on the issues and concerns that we encountered during our review.

This has been a difficult are and we have tried to ensure that the Draft Law maintains the right balance between the rights of people to enjoy a family life and the rights of people to live by their religious conviction.

Our report sets out the range of evidence we have received and provides the basis for lodging our amendments.”

The Draft Law amends the Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law 2001 to implement two previous States of Jersey decisions to increase the number of locations where couples can have their marriage solemnized and to allow same sex couples to get married in Jersey.

The Draft Law also introduces additional changes to the processes associated with the solemnization and registration of marriage, who can solemnize marriage and what content is allowed during marriage ceremonies.

The Panel’s legislative review focused on a number of key themes including:

  • Accreditation for civil marriage celebrants
  • Protections for buildings owned by religious groups
  • A limited and narrowly defined “tolerance” clause
  • Use of religious material in civil marriage ceremonies

The Draft Law is due to be debated by the States Assembly on 1st February 2018.