The draft Legislative Reform (Civil Partnership) Order 2010 and Explanatory Document were laid before Parliament by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 25 October 2010 under section 14(1) of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (the "LRRA"). The FCO has recommended that the negative resolution procedure apply.
The draft Order is uncontroversial, seeking to amend the Civil Partnership Act 2004 to allow registration of civil partnerships by locally engaged consular staff rather than only by officers of Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service as is currently the case.
We believe that all statutory preconditions and tests have been met; in particular, we do not believe that the Order will prejudice any existing protection. All responsibilities relating to the consultation procedures set out in section 13 of the LRRA and all requirements associated with laying under section 14 appear to us to have been properly fulfilled. However, we believe that the affirmative procedure should apply as the proposal embodies more than a de minimis change in the law.
We therefore recommend that the affirmative resolution procedure should apply and that the draft Order be approved.