Posted on 1st August 2019 at 14:48
As specialist divorce solicitors, it is rare that we at MG Legal get to write about marriage, but the Law Commission is to conduct a two- year review of marriage ceremonies in England and Wales view a view to cutting red tape. This follows a 2015 review which much to everyone’s surprise (**sarcasm intended**) found the laws surrounding marriage to be outdated and too restrictive. We were particularly surprised to hear this given that the laws surrounding marriage only date back to 1836. So, Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced in his 2018 budget that the Law Commission should draw up proposals for change following the review.
The suggestion is that the project will look at the current laws as to how and where marriages can take place. There have been suggestions that military bases should allowed to be used for marriages for military personnel along with proposals that couples are allowed to marry in their own homes or at sea. The Law Commission's aim is to look at creating a simpler, fairer system that provides more choices and an alternative to the cost of an approved venue or registry office. The Government in the meantime is going to separately look to introduce new legislation which will allow civil weddings and civil partnerships to be held outside. Naturally; the Ministry of Justice said any new venues “would have to meet the existing test of solemnity and dignity”.