Law Commission consultation on weddings law

Closes 4 Jan 2021

Chapter 4: Preliminaries

Consultation Question 4:

We provisionally propose that the requirement that couples are resident in an English or Welsh registration district for seven days prior to giving notice of their intention to marry to the superintendent registrar should be abolished.

Do consultees agree?

Consultation Question 5:

We provisionally propose that it should be possible to start the notice period by giving notice online, by post or in person at any registration district, and that any person giving notice online or by post would be required to attend a separate in-person interview at a later date.

Do consultees agree?

Consultation Question 6:

We invite consultees’ views as to whether the minimum period between the in-person interviews and the date from which the couple can get married should be:

Consultation Question 7:

We invite consultees’ views as to whether it should be possible for interviews to take place remotely, in the future, with the possibility of an in-person interview being required where concerns arise about sham or forced marriages or the capacity of either party to consent.

Consultation Question 8:

We invite consultees’ views as to whether it should continue to be possible for notice to be given outside England and Wales where one of the couple who is resident in Scotland, or in a specified Commonwealth country or territory, or on a naval ship at sea, and both are relevant nationals or exempt from immigration control.

Consultation Question 9:

We provisionally propose that notices of marriage should be publicly displayed online, save where this would expose either of the couple to a risk of harm.

Do consultees agree?

Consultation Question 10:

We provisionally propose that the schedule should be valid for 12 months from the date of issue.

Do consultees agree?

Consultation Question 11:

We provisionally propose that:

  1. the schedule should identify the officiant who will officiate at the wedding; and
  2. at the parties’ request, the registration service should issue an amended schedule with a substitute officiant.

Do consultees agree?

Consultation Question 12:

We provisionally propose that a substitute officiant should be able to officiate at the wedding if the officiant named in the schedule is unexpectedly unable to act because of death, sudden illness or unavoidable delay.

Do consultees agree?

We invite consultees’ views as to whether a substitute officiant should be able to act in other circumstances.

Consultation Question 13:

We provisionally propose that banns published in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Ireland should no longer authorise an Anglican wedding in England or Wales.

Do consultees agree?

Consultation Question 14:

We provisionally propose that the rules about where banns can be published to authorise an Anglican wedding if a church is injured by war damage should be repealed.

Do consultees agree?

Consultation Question 15:

We invite consultees’ views as to whether banns to authorise an Anglican wedding should be required to be published only in the church where the wedding is to take place.

Consultation Question 16:

We invite consultees’ views as to whether to authorise an Anglican wedding clergy should:

  1. have the power to call for documentary evidence and be required to check such evidence; and
  2. be required to meet with each of the couple separately, before banns are published.
Consultation Question 17:

We invite consultees’ views as to whether both of the couple should be required to attend and make separate declarations that there is no impediment to their marriage in order for a common licence to be granted to authorise an Anglican wedding.

Consultation Question 18:

We invite consultees’ views as to whether: