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Civil Partnership Bill [HL]


Civil Partnership Bill [HL]
Part 4 — Civil partnership: Northern Ireland
Chapter 1 — Registration

75

 

151     

Registration districts and registration authorities

(1)   

Each local government district shall be a registration district and the district

council shall be the local registration authority for the purposes of this Part.

(2)   

A district council shall, in the exercise of functions conferred on it as a local

registration authority—

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(a)   

act as agent for the Department of Finance and Personnel, and

(b)   

act in accordance with such directions as that Department may give to

the council.

(3)   

Any expenditure to be incurred by the district council in the exercise of

functions conferred on it as a local registration authority shall be subject to the

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approval of the Registrar General.

(4)   

The Department of Finance and Personnel shall retain or, as the case may be,

defray in respect of each financial year the amount of the difference between—

(a)   

the aggregate of the amounts of salaries, pension provision and other

expenses payable by virtue of this Part in respect of any registration

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district, and

(b)   

the aggregate of the amounts received in that registration district under

any statutory provision or otherwise by way of fees or other expenses.

152     

Registrars and other staff

(1)   

A local registration authority shall, with the approval of the Registrar General,

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appoint—

(a)   

a registrar of civil partnerships, and

(b)   

one or more deputy registrars of civil partnerships.

(2)   

A person holding an appointment under subsection (1) may with the approval

of, and shall at the direction of, the Registrar General be removed from his

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office of registrar or deputy registrar by the local registration authority.

(3)   

A local registration authority shall, at the direction of the Registrar General,

appoint additional persons to register civil partnerships and carry out other

functions for the purposes of this Part.

(4)   

A person shall not be appointed under subsection (1) or (3) if he is under the

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age of 21.

(5)   

Regulations under section 159 may confer additional functions on a person

holding an appointment under subsection (1).

(6)   

A person holding an appointment under subsection (1) shall, in exercising his

functions under this Part or any other statutory provision, be subject to such

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instructions or directions as the Registrar General may give.

153     

Records and documents to be sent to Registrar General

If the Registrar General directs him to do so, a person must send to the

Registrar General any record or document relating to civil partnerships in

accordance with the Registrar General’s directions.

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Civil Partnership Bill [HL]
Part 4 — Civil partnership: Northern Ireland
Chapter 1 — Registration

76

 

154     

Annual report

(1)   

The Registrar General must send to the Department of Finance and Personnel

an annual report of the number of civil partnerships registered during each

year, together with such other information as he considers it appropriate to

include.

5

(2)   

The Department of Finance and Personnel must lay the report before the

Northern Ireland Assembly.

155     

Searches

(1)   

The Registrar General must provide indexes to civil partnership registration

records in his custody for inspection by the public.

10

(2)   

A registrar must provide indexes to civil partnership registration records in his

custody for inspection by the public.

(3)   

Any person may, on payment of the prescribed fee—

(a)   

search any index mentioned in subsection (1) or (2), and

(b)   

require the Registrar General or, as the case may be, the registrar to give

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him a document in the prescribed form relating to the registration of a

civil partnership.

(4)   

The Registrar General must cause any document given by him under this

section or section 156 to be stamped with the seal of the General Register Office.

(5)   

Judicial notice shall be taken of any document so stamped.

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156     

Proof of civil partnership for purposes of certain statutory provisions

(1)   

Where the civil partnership of a person is required to be proved for the

purposes of any prescribed statutory provision, any person—

(a)   

on application to the Registrar General, and

(b)   

on payment of the prescribed fee,

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is entitled to a document in the prescribed form relating to the registration of

the civil partnership of that person.

(2)   

An application under subsection (1) must be in such form and accompanied by

such particulars as the Registrar General may require.

(3)   

The Registrar General or any registrar may, on payment of the prescribed fee,

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issue such information (including a document as mentioned in subsection (1))

as may be required for the purposes of any prescribed statutory provision.

157     

Fees

(1)   

The Department of Finance and Personnel may by order prescribe—

(a)   

any fee which is required to be prescribed for the purposes of this

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Chapter;

(b)   

fees for such other matters as that Department considers necessary or

expedient for the purposes of this Chapter.

(2)   

The power to make an order under subsection (1) is exercisable by statutory

rule for the purposes of the Statutory Rules (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (S.I.

40

1979/1573 (N.I. 12)).

 

 

Civil Partnership Bill [HL]
Part 4 — Civil partnership: Northern Ireland
Chapter 1 — Registration

77

 

(3)   

An order under subsection (1) may only be made if a draft has been laid before

and approved by resolution of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

158     

Offences

(1)   

Any registrar who signs a civil partnership schedule in the absence of the civil

partners is guilty of an offence.

5

(2)   

Any person who is not a registrar but officiates at the signing of a civil

partnership schedule in such a way as to lead the civil partners to believe that

he is a registrar is guilty of an offence.

(3)   

A person who is guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary

conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to

10

imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.

(4)   

Notwithstanding anything in Article 19(1) of the Magistrates’ Courts

(Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (S.I. 1981/1675 (N.I. 26)) (limitation of time for

taking proceedings), proceedings for an offence under this section may be

instituted at any time within 3 years after the commission of the offence.

15

159     

Regulations

(1)   

The Department of Finance and Personnel may by regulations make such

provision as appears to it necessary or expedient for the registration of civil

partnerships in Northern Ireland.

(2)   

The power to make regulations under subsection (1) is exercisable by statutory

20

rule for the purposes of the Statutory Rules (Northern Ireland) Order 1979

(S.I. 1979/1573 (N.I. 12)).

(3)   

Regulations under subsection (1) shall be subject to negative resolution (within

the meaning of section 41(6) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954

(1954 c. 33 (N.I.))).

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160     

Interpretation

In this Chapter—

“civil partnership notice” means a notice of proposed civil partnership

under section 139;

“civil partnership notice book” has the meaning given by section 140;

30

“prescribed”, except in relation to a fee, means prescribed by regulations

under section 159 and, in relation to a fee, means prescribed by order

under section 157;

“registrar” means such person appointed under section 152(1)(a) or (b) or

(3) as may be prescribed;

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“Registrar General” means the Registrar General for Northern Ireland;

“statutory provision” has the meaning given by section 1(f) of the

Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954.

 

 

Civil Partnership Bill [HL]
Part 4 — Civil partnership: Northern Ireland
Chapter 2 — Dissolution, nullity and other proceedings

78

 

Chapter 2

Dissolution, nullity and other proceedings

Introduction

161     

Powers to make orders and effect of orders

(1)   

The court may, in accordance with this Chapter—

5

(a)   

make an order (a “dissolution order”) which dissolves a civil

partnership on the ground that it has broken down irretrievably;

(b)   

make an order (a “nullity order”) which annuls a civil partnership

which is void or voidable;

(c)   

make an order (a “presumption of death order”) which dissolves a civil

10

partnership on the ground that one of the civil partners is presumed to

be dead;

(d)   

make an order (a “separation order”) which provides for the separation

of the civil partners.

(2)   

Every dissolution, nullity or presumption of death order—

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(a)   

is, in the first instance, a conditional order, and

(b)   

may not be made final before the end of the prescribed period (see

section 162);

and any reference in this Chapter to a conditional order is to be read

accordingly.

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(3)   

A nullity order made where a civil partnership is voidable annuls the civil

partnership only as respects any time after the order has been made final, and

the civil partnership is to be treated (despite the order) as if it had existed up to

that time.

(4)   

In this Chapter “the court” has the meaning given by section 188.

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(5)   

This Chapter is subject to section 219 and sections 228 to 232 (jurisdiction of the

court).

162     

The period before conditional orders may be made final

(1)   

Subject to subsection (2), the prescribed period for the purposes of section

161(2)(b) is 6 weeks from the making of the conditional order.

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(2)   

In a particular case the court dealing with the case may by order shorten the

prescribed period.

163     

Intervention by the Crown Solicitor

(1)   

This section applies if an application has been made for a dissolution, nullity

or presumption of death order.

35

(2)   

The court may, if it thinks fit, direct that all necessary papers in the matter are

to be sent to the Crown Solicitor who must under the directions of the Attorney

General instruct counsel to argue before the court any question in relation to

the matter which the court considers it necessary or expedient to have fully

argued.

40

 

 

Civil Partnership Bill [HL]
Part 4 — Civil partnership: Northern Ireland
Chapter 2 — Dissolution, nullity and other proceedings

79

 

(3)   

If any person at any time—

(a)   

during the progress of the proceedings, or

(b)   

before the conditional order is made final,

   

gives information to the Crown Solicitor on any matter material to the due

decision of the case, the Crown Solicitor may take such steps as the Attorney

5

General considers necessary or expedient.

(4)   

If the Crown Solicitor intervenes or shows cause against the making of the

conditional order in any proceedings relating to its making, the court may

make such order as may be just as to—

(a)   

the payment by other parties to the proceedings of the costs incurred by

10

him in doing so, or

(b)   

the payment by the Crown Solicitor of any costs incurred by any of

those parties because of his doing so.

(5)   

In this Chapter—

   

“the Attorney General” means the Attorney General for Northern Ireland;

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and

   

“the Crown Solicitor” means the Crown Solicitor for Northern Ireland.

164     

Proceedings before order has been made final

(1)   

This section applies if—

(a)   

a conditional order has been made, and

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(b)   

the Crown Solicitor, or any person who has not been a party to

proceedings in which the order was made, shows cause why the order

should not be made final on the ground that material facts have not

been brought before the court.

(2)   

This section also applies if—

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(a)   

a conditional order has been made,

(b)   

3 months have elapsed since the earliest date on which an application

could have been made for the order to be made final,

(c)   

no such application has been made by the civil partner who applied for

the conditional order, and

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(d)   

the other civil partner makes an application to the court under this

subsection.

(3)   

The court may—

(a)   

make the order final,

(b)   

rescind the order,

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(c)   

require further inquiry, or

(d)   

otherwise deal with the case as it thinks fit.

(4)   

Subsection (3)(a)—

(a)   

applies despite section 161(2) (period before conditional orders may be

made final), but

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(b)   

is subject to section 172(4) (protection for respondent in separation

cases) and section 186 (restrictions on making of orders affecting

children).

 

 

 
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