The Marriage (Same-sex Couples) and Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2019

Publication Date:January 01, 2019

2019No. 1514

CIVIL PARTNERSHIP, NORTHERN IRELAND

MARRIAGE, NORTHERN IRELAND

The Marriage (Same-sex Couples) and Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2019

Made19thDecember2019

Laid before Parliament23rdDecember2019

Coming into force13thJanuary2020

The Secretary of State makes these regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 8 and 11 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019( 1).

PART 1

Introductory Provision

Citation and commencement

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Marriage (Same-sex Couples) and Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2019.

(2) These Regulations come into force on 13th January 2020.

Extent

2.—(1) These Regulations extend to Northern Ireland only, subject to paragraphs (2) to (6).

(2) The following extend to Northern Ireland, England and Wales, and Scotland—

this Part;

regulation 10(3)(a);

regulation 11(3);

regulation 12, except paragraph (1);

regulation 14, except paragraph (1);

regulation 17(1) and (2)(b);

regulation 18;

regulations 41, 42(2) to (4), 43(2) to (7), 44, 46(1) and (2) and 49 to 52.

(3) The following extend to Northern Ireland, and England and Wales—

regulation 10(3)(c);

regulation 26(3)(b) and (6)(b);

regulation 46(3).

(4) The following extends to England and Wales only—

regulation 47(1).

(5) The following extends to Scotland only—

regulation 47(3).

(6) The following extends to England and Wales, and Scotland, only—

regulation 65.

PART 2

Marriage: Same-sex Couples

Extension of marriage to same-sex couples

3.—(1) In Article 6(6) of the Marriage (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 (legal impediments to marriage)( 2)

(a) omit sub-paragraph (e) (parties must not be of the same sex), and the preceding “or”, and

(b) after sub-paragraph (c) insert “or”.

(2) In Article 9 of that Order (persons who may solemnise marriages), after paragraph (b) insert—

“But a marriage between parties of the same sex may be solemnised only by a person appointed under Article 31.”.

Form of appropriate declaration at solemnisation of a marriage

4. In each of Articles 19(3) and 25 of the Marriage (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 (which refer to declarations by the parties to a marriage that they accept each other as husband and wife), after “as husband and wife” insert “or as husband and husband or as wife and wife”.

Parties being of the same sex no longer to be a ground on which a marriage is void

5.—(1) In Article 13(1) of the Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978( 3) (grounds on which a marriage is void), omit sub-paragraph (e) (parties not respectively male and female).

(2) In section 4(1) of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018( 4), omit paragraph (b) (guidance connected to Article 13(1)(e) of the 1978 Order) and the preceding “and”.

Effect of extension

6.—(1) In the law of Northern Ireland, marriage has the same effect in relation to same-sex couples as it has in relation to opposite-sex couples.

(2) The law of Northern Ireland (including all applicable legislation whenever passed or made) has effect in accordance with paragraph (1).

(3) Paragraphs (1) and (2), and regulation 7, are subject to any contrary provision made by these Regulations (or future applicable legislation), including contrary provision contained in amendments of existing applicable legislation.

(4) In this regulation—

“applicable legislation” means—

(a) an Act of Parliament so far as it forms part of the law of Northern Ireland,

(b) Northern Ireland legislation,

(c) subordinate legislation made under an Act of Parliament, so far as the subordinate legislation forms part of the law of Northern Ireland, and

(d) subordinate legislation made under Northern Ireland legislation;

“existing applicable legislation” means applicable legislation passed or made before 13th January 2020;

“subordinate legislation” means any Order in Council, order or warrant (other than an order made or a warrant issued by a court), scheme, rule, regulation, bye-law or other instrument.

Interpretation of existing legislation: references to marriage, couples and married persons

7.—(1) In existing applicable legislation—

(a) a reference to marriage is to be read as including a reference to marriage of a same-sex couple,

(b) a reference to a married couple is to be read as including a reference to a married same-sex couple, and

(c) a reference to a person who is married is to be read as including a reference to a person who is married to a person of the same sex.

(2) Where paragraph (1) requires a reference to be read in a particular way, any related reference (such as a reference to a marriage that has ended, or a reference to a person whose marriage has ended) is to be read accordingly.

(3) For the purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2), it does not matter how a reference is expressed, so that (for example) in existing applicable legislation—

(a) a reference to a husband, or a reference to a wife, is to be read as including a reference to a same-sex spouse (of either sex),

(b) a reference to a widow, or a reference to a widower, is to be read as including a reference to a surviving same-sex spouse (of either sex), and

(c) a reference to a person's “husband or wife” is to be read as a reference to the person's spouse (whether of the opposite or same sex).

(4) Paragraphs (1) to (3) do not limit regulation 6(1) and (2).

(5) In this regulation “existing applicable legislation” has the same meaning as in regulation 6.

Interpretation of existing private legal instruments

8.—(1) Regulation 6(1) and (2) do not alter the effect of any private legal instrument made before 13th January 2020.

(2) In this regulation “private legal instrument” includes—

(a) a will,

(b) an instrument (including a private Act) which settles property,

(c) an instrument (including a private Act) which provides for the use, disposal or devolution of property, and

(d) an instrument (including a private Act) which—

(i) establishes a body, or

(ii) regulates the purposes or administration of a body,

(whether the body is incorporated or not and whether it is charitable or not);

but (with the exception of the kinds of private Act mentioned in sub-paragraphs (b) to (d)) it does not include applicable legislation.

(3) In paragraph (2)—

(a) “Act” includes an Act of the Parliament of Ireland, an Act of the Parliament of Northern Ireland and an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly;

(b) “applicable legislation” has the same meaning as in regulation 6.

Disapplication of regulations 6 and 7 in certain cases

9.—(1) Regulation 6(1) and (2) do not apply to the common law concerning—

(a) the right of a person who marries, or is married to, the King Regnant, to the title of Queen,

(b) the right of a person who marries, or is married to, the Prince of Wales, to the title of Princess of Wales, or

(c) the acquisition of a right to, or interest in, a peerage, and all titles, rights, offices, privileges and precedence attaching to it, by a person who marries or who is married to a peer holding that peerage.

(2) Regulation 6(1) and (2) do not apply to EU instruments.

(3) Regulations 6(1) and (2) and 7(1) to (3) do not apply to a provision listed in paragraph 5 of Schedule 2 to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (Consequential and Contrary Provisions and Scotland) Order 2014( 5), so far as the provision forms part of the law of Northern Ireland.

Recognition of extra-territorial marriages of same-sex couples

10.—(1) A marriage under—

(a) the law of any part of the United Kingdom (other than Northern Ireland), or

(b) the law of any country or territory outside the United Kingdom,

is not prevented from being recognised under the law of Northern Ireland only because it is the marriage of a same-sex couple.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1) it is irrelevant whether the law of a particular part of the United Kingdom, or a particular country or territory outside the United Kingdom—

(a) at the start of 13th January 2020 already provides for marriage of same-sex couples, or

(b) provides for marriage of same-sex couples from some later time.

(3) Accordingly—

(a) in the Marriage (Same Sex) Couples Act 2013( 6), in paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 (same-sex marriage in England and Wales to be treated in Northern Ireland as civil partnership), after sub-paragraph (1) insert—

“(1A) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply on or after 13th January 2020 except for the purposes of proceedings commenced before that date under Chapter 2 of Part 4, or section 191, of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (dissolution, nullity and other proceedings in Northern Ireland in respect of civil partnerships, and property disputes between civil partners).”,

(b) in the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 and Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Consequential Provisions and Modifications) Order 2014( 7), in Article 6 (same-sex marriage in Scotland to be treated in Northern Ireland as civil partnership), after paragraph (1) insert—

“(1A) Paragraph (1) does not apply on or after 13th January 2020 except for the purposes of proceedings commenced before that date under Chapter 2 of Part 4, or section 191, of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (dissolution, nullity and other proceedings in respect of civil partnerships, and property disputes between civil partners).”, and

(c) in section 1(3) of the Civil Partnership Act 2004( 8) (cases where civil partnerships brought to an end), after paragraph (b) insert—

“, or

(c) on its coming to an end in accordance with section 11(2)(a) of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 (asp 5)(ending of civil partnership formed as mentioned in subsection (1)(a)(ii) or (iv) on its being changed to a marriage under section 10 of that Act, and ending of certain civil partnerships where the civil partners marry in accordance with the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977).”( 9).

(4) Paragraphs (1) and (2) do not apply for the purposes of any proceedings...

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