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Other Bills before Parliament

Civil Partnership Bill [HL]


Civil Partnership Bill [HL]
Part 1 — Introduction

1

 

A

Bill

To

Make provision for and in connection with civil partnership.                                            

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1

Introduction

1       

Civil partnership

(1)   

A civil partnership is a relationship between two people of the same sex (“civil

partners”)—

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(a)   

which is formed when they register as civil partners of each other—

(i)   

in England or Wales (under Part 2),

(ii)   

in Scotland (under Part 3),

(iii)   

in Northern Ireland (under Part 4), or

(iv)   

outside the United Kingdom under an Order in Council made

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under Chapter 1 of Part 5 (registration at British consulates etc.

or by armed forces personnel), or

(b)   

which they are treated under Chapter 2 of Part 5 as having formed (at

the time determined under that Chapter) by virtue of having registered

an overseas relationship.

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(2)   

Subsection (1) is subject to the provisions of this Act under or by virtue of

which a civil partnership is void.

(3)   

A civil partnership ends only on death, dissolution or annulment.

(4)   

The references in subsection (3) to dissolution and annulment are to

dissolution and annulment having effect under or recognised in accordance

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with this Act.

(5)   

References in this Act to an overseas relationship are to be read in accordance

with Chapter 2 of Part 5.

 
HL Bill 5353/3
 
 

Civil Partnership Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Civil partnerships: England and Wales
Chapter 1 — Registration

2

 

Part 2

Civil partnerships: England and Wales

Chapter 1

Registration

Formation, eligibility and parental etc. consent

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2       

Formation of civil partnership by registration

(1)   

For the purposes of section 1, two people are to be regarded as having

registered as civil partners of each other once each of them has signed the civil

partnership document—

(a)   

at the invitation of, and in the presence of, a civil partnership registrar,

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and

(b)   

in the presence of each other and two witnesses.

(2)   

Subsection (1) applies regardless of whether subsections (3) and (4) are

complied with.

(3)   

After the civil partnership document has been signed under subsection (1), it

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must also be signed, in the presence of the civil partners and each other, by—

(a)   

each of the two witnesses, and

(b)   

the civil partnership registrar.

(4)   

After the witnesses and the civil partnership registrar have signed the civil

partnership document, the relevant registration authority must ensure that—

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(a)   

the fact that the two people have registered as civil partners of each

other, and

(b)   

any other information prescribed by regulations,

   

is recorded in the register as soon as is practicable.

(5)   

No religious service is to be used while the civil partnership registrar is

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officiating at the signing of a civil partnership document.

(6)   

“The civil partnership document” has the meaning given by section 7(1).

(7)   

“The relevant registration authority” means the registration authority in whose

area the registration takes place.

3       

Eligibility

30

(1)   

Two people are not eligible to register as civil partners of each other if—

(a)   

they are not of the same sex,

(b)   

either of them is already a civil partner or lawfully married,

(c)   

either of them is under 16, or

(d)   

they are within prohibited degrees of relationship.

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(2)   

Part 1 of Schedule 1 contains provisions for determining when two people are

within prohibited degrees of relationship.

 

 

Civil Partnership Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Civil partnerships: England and Wales
Chapter 1 — Registration

3

 

4       

Parental etc. consent where proposed civil partner under 18

(1)   

The consent of the appropriate persons is required before a child and another

person may register as civil partners of each other.

(2)   

Part 1 of Schedule 2 contains provisions for determining who are the

appropriate persons for the purposes of this section.

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(3)   

The requirement of consent under subsection (1) does not apply if the child is

a surviving civil partner.

(4)   

Nothing in this section affects any need to obtain the consent of the High Court

before a ward of court and another person may register as civil partners of each

other.

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(5)   

In this Part “child”, except where used to express a relationship, means a

person who is under 18.

Registration procedure: general

5       

Types of pre-registration procedure

(1)   

Two people may register as civil partners of each other under—

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(a)   

the standard procedure;

(b)   

the procedure for house-bound persons;

(c)   

the procedure for detained persons;

(d)   

the special procedure (which is for cases where a person is seriously ill

and not expected to recover).

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(2)   

The procedures referred to in subsection (1)(a) to (c) are subject to section 20

(modified procedures for certain non-residents).

(3)   

The procedures referred to in subsection (1)(a) to (c) (including those

procedures as modified by section 20) are subject to Schedule 3 (former

spouses one of whom has changed sex).

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(4)   

The procedures referred to in subsection (1) (including the procedures as

modified by section 20 and Schedule 3) are subject to—

(a)   

Part 2 of Schedule 1 (provisions applicable in connection with

prohibited degrees of relationship), and

(b)   

Parts 2 and 3 of Schedule 2 (provisions applicable where proposed civil

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partner is under 18).

6       

Place of registration

(1)   

The place at which two people may register as civil partners of each other—

(a)   

must be in England or Wales,

(b)   

must not be in religious premises, and

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(c)   

must be specified in the notices, or notice, of proposed civil partnership

required by this Chapter.

(2)   

“Religious premises” means premises—

(a)   

designed for use solely or mainly for religious purposes, or

(b)   

in use solely or mainly for religious purposes.

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Civil Partnership Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Civil partnerships: England and Wales
Chapter 1 — Registration

4

 

(3)   

In the case of registration under the standard procedure (including that

procedure modified as mentioned in section 5(2) to (4)), the place—

(a)   

must be one which is open to any person wishing to attend the

registration, and

(b)   

before being specified in a notice of proposed civil partnership, must be

5

agreed with the registration authority in whose area that place is

located.

(4)   

If the place specified in a notice is not so agreed, the notice is void.

(5)   

A registration authority may provide a place in its area for the registration of

civil partnerships.

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7       

The civil partnership document

(1)   

In this Part “the civil partnership document” means—

(a)   

in relation to the special procedure, a Registrar General’s licence, and

(b)   

in relation to any other procedure, a civil partnership schedule.

(2)   

Before two people are entitled to register as civil partners of each other—

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(a)   

the civil partnership document must be delivered to the civil

partnership registrar, and

(b)   

the civil partnership registrar may then ask them for any information

required (under section 2(4)) to be recorded in the register.

The standard procedure

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8       

Notice of proposed civil partnership and declaration

(1)   

For two people to register as civil partners of each other under the standard

procedure, each of them must—

(a)   

give a notice of proposed civil partnership to a registration authority,

and

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(b)   

have resided in England or Wales for at least 7 days immediately before

giving the notice.

(2)   

A notice of proposed civil partnership must contain such information as may

be prescribed by regulations.

(3)   

A notice of proposed civil partnership must also include the necessary

30

declaration, made and signed by the person giving the notice—

(a)   

at the time when the notice is given, and

(b)   

in the presence of an authorised person;

   

and the authorised person must attest the declaration by adding his name,

description and place of residence.

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(4)   

The necessary declaration is a solemn declaration in writing—

(a)   

that the proposed civil partner believes that there is no impediment of

kindred or affinity or other lawful hindrance to the formation of the

civil partnership;

(b)   

that each of the proposed civil partners has had a usual place of

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residence in England or Wales for at least 7 days immediately before

giving the notice.

 

 

Civil Partnership Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Civil partnerships: England and Wales
Chapter 1 — Registration

5

 

(5)   

Where a notice of civil partnership is given to a registration authority in

accordance with this section, the registration authority must ensure that the

following information is recorded in the register as soon as possible—

(a)   

the fact that the notice has been given and the information in it;

(b)   

the fact that the authorised person has attested the declaration.

5

(6)   

“Authorised person” means an employee or officer or other person provided

by a registration authority who is authorised by that authority to attest notices

of proposed civil partnership.

(7)   

For the purposes of this Chapter, a notice of proposed civil partnership is

recorded when subsection (5) is complied with.

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9       

Power to require evidence of name etc.

(1)   

The registration authority to which a notice of proposed civil partnership is

given may require the person giving the notice to provide it with specified

evidence—

(a)   

relating to that person, or

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(b)   

if the registration authority considers that the circumstances are

exceptional, relating not only to that person but also to that person’s

proposed civil partner.

(2)   

Such a requirement may be imposed at any time before the registration

authority issues the civil partnership schedule under section 14.

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(3)   

“Specified evidence”, in relation to a person, means such evidence as may be

specified in guidance issued by the Registrar General—

(a)   

of the person’s name and surname,

(b)   

of the person’s age,

(c)   

as to whether the person has previously formed a civil partnership or a

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marriage and, if so, as to the ending of the civil partnership or marriage,

(d)   

of the person’s nationality, and

(e)   

as to the person’s residence in England or Wales during the period of 7

days preceding the giving of a notice of proposed civil partnership by

that person.

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10      

Proposed civil partnerships to be publicised

(1)   

Where a notice of proposed civil partnership has been given to a registration

authority, the relevant information must be publicised during the waiting

period—

(a)   

by that registration authority,

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(b)   

by any registration authority in whose area the person giving the notice

has resided during the period of 7 days preceding the giving of the

notice,

(c)   

by the registration authority in whose area the place specified in the

notice as the place of proposed registration is located, and

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(d)   

by the Registrar General.

(2)   

“The relevant information” means—

(a)   

the name of the person giving the notice,

(b)   

the name of that person’s proposed civil partner, and

(c)   

such other information as may be prescribed by regulations.

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