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Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law: Proposed amendments

A decision made on 10 January 2017:

Ministerial decision reference: MD-HA-2017-0001

Decision summary title: Amendments to the Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law 2001

Decision summary author

Director, Social Policy

Is the decision summary public or exempt? 

Public

Report title: Amendments to the Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law 2001

 

Report author or name of

person giving report

Director, Social Policy

Is the report public or exempt?

Public

Decision and reason for the decision

The Assistant Minister, Home Affairs has decided that the Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law 2001 (the “2001 Law”) should be amended in accordance with two in principle decisions of the States Assembly:

 

1)            In July 2015 the States of Jersey agreed, in principle, that the “2001 Law”  should be amended to allow for the solemnisation of marriages in the open air, including in public spaces (P65/2015: http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyPropositions/2015/P.65-2015.pdf)

 

2)            In September 2015, the Assembly further agreed that, in principle the 2001 Law should be amended to allow for same-sex couples to get married in Jersey in accordance with the quadruple lock. (See chapter 1 below) http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyPropositions/2015/P.77-2015.pdf).

Resource implications

NIL

Action required

To request the Law Draftsman to prepare the amended Law for the States to debate.

Signature

 

 

Position

Assistant Minister, Home Affairs

 

 

 

Date signed

 

Effective date of the decision

 

 

Amendments to the Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law 2001

 

Report

 

 

  1. INTRODUCTION

 

In July 2015 the States of Jersey agreed, in principle, that the Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law 2001 (the “2001 Law”) should be amended to allow for the solemnisation of marriages in the open air, including in public spaces (P65/2015: http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyPropositions/2015/P.65-2015.pdf)

 

In September 2015, the Assembly further agreed that, in principle the 2001 Law should be amended to allow for same-sex couples to get married in Jersey in accordance with the quadruple lock. (See chapter 1 below) http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/AssemblyPropositions/2015/P.77-2015.pdf).

This document sets out the policy instructions to the Law Draftsman to amend the law in order to allow for both same-sex marriage and open-air marriage, including presenting the policy rationale for the proposed amendments.  It is anticipated that much of the detail of the instructions set out below will be provided for in secondary legislation as opposed to in primary law.

The legislation to be amended is predominately the Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law 2001 (the “2001 Law”) and associated Orders, albeit there will be consequential changes to other legislation including that relating to civil partnerships.

It should be noted that, in reviewing the 2001 Law in relation to same-sex marriage and open-air marriage, it has become clear that a range of further, significant amendments are required in order to ensure Jersey’s marriage legislation is fit-for-purpose. The further amendments, which are detailed in the instructions below relate to a range of matters including:

  • streaming the processes associated with the giving of notice to marry and the registration of marriage
  • introducing additional requirements in relation to certificates of no-impediment and other forms of evidence to help better protect against sham or forced marriage
  • allowing couples greater choice over the content of their wedding ceremonies
  • making better provision in relation to marriage in emergency or special circumstances.

 

These law drafting instructions have been divided into different charters, with each chapter focusing on a different aspect of the law.

Chapter

 

  1.  

Quadruple lock

  1.  

Processes associated with solemnization and registration of marriage

  1.  

Restrictions on marriage

  1.  

Content of civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

  1.  

Person authorised to solemnize marriage in Jersey

  1.  

Emergency and special circumstances marriage

  1.  

Conversion of civil partnerships into marriage (marriage conversion)

  1.  

Emergency and special circumstances conversion 

  1.  

Place of marriage

  1.  

Alternative arrangement for signing of forms

  1.  

Other amendments

 

At the point at which the States debated P77/2015 – which was entitled Same-sex marriage, divorce and dissolution – they also agreed, in principle,

 

a)             not include a spousal veto in respect of gender recognition: The law drafting instructions is relation to this will be brought forward in early 2017.

 

b)             to automatically confer parental responsibility on unmarried fathers who are named on birth certificates: The Children and Adoption (Amendment) (Jersey) Law 2016 allowing for this came into effect in November 2016.

 

c)             to bring forward new legislation to allow for the introduction of a system of divorce and dissolution making it a legal requirement to access and use mediation services subject to appropriate safeguards and human rights considerations: It has been agreed that work relating to this will commence after the changes to the 2001 Law have been fully implemented.

 

Further sets of instructions

In addition to the instructions set out below, additional instructions will be provided over the coming months relating to:

a)             fees

b)             parental responsibility for same-sex parents

c)             protection against a spousal veto

d)             consequential amendments, such as amendments to income tax legislation

e)             changes to civil partnership legislation so that if reflects the changes to marriage legislation.


Chapter 1: The Quadruple lock

 

Section 1: Introduction

 

  1. As set out in P77/2015, the amended law must ensure that no religious organisation or official can be compelled to solemnize same-sex marriage. This includes the amended law setting out that same-sex marriage will only be possible if:

 

a)             the religious organisation has opted-in to conduct same-sex marriages; and

b)             the authorised religious celebrant consents to solemnize same-sex marriage; and

c)             if the ceremony is to take in a place of public religious worship, that place of public religious worship is approved as a location for same-sex marriages (approval can only be granted if the governing authority of that place of public religious worship provides their written consent to solemnization of same-sex marriage).

 

The drafting instructions below draw together all elements of the quadruple lock for ease of reference. They are also replicated throughout the other chapters at the relevant point.

Section 2. The Quadruple lock in England and Wales

  1. The quadruple lock broadly replicates equivalent provisions in English law. In England the majority of these provisions were introduced by the Marriage (Same-sex Couples) Act 2013 (the “2013 Act”), which amended the Marriage Act 1949 (the “1949 Act”). Details of the English provision are set out below but, in reviewing them it is important to recognise that the terms used are, in some cases, different to those used throughout the rest of these instructions.

 

  1. The 2013 Act sets out the general position that no person (a person being, a religious organisation or official) can be compelled to solemnize same-sex marriage or undertake other associated acts in relation to a same-sex marriage. In s.2(1), it provides that a person may not be:

a)             compelled to undertake an opt-in activity or

b)             compelled to refrain from undertaking an opt-out activity.

 

  1. An ‘opt-in’ activity is defined (in s.2(3) and by reference to the legislation governing those activities, i.e. the 1949 Act) as one of the activities listed below. An ‘opt-out’ activity is defined as an activity which reverses, or otherwise modifies, the effect of an opt-in activity:

 

a)             giving consent (i.e. written consent from the relevant governing authority to the conduct of same-sex marriages),

b)             applying for the registration of a building,

c)             authorising a person to be present at the solemnization of marriages of same-sex couples in a registered building,

d)             being authorised to be present at the solemnization of marriages of same-sex couples in a registered building, and

e)             giving a certificate or a copy of a consent, or certifying any matter in relation to a same-sex marriage.

 

  1. The 2013 Act then provides, at s.2(2), that a person may not be compelled by any means to:

a)             conduct a relevant marriage (i.e. a marriage of a same-sex couple),

b)             to be present at, carry out, or otherwise participate in, a relevant marriage, or

c)             to consent to a relevant marriage being conducted,

 

where the reason for the person not doing that thing is that the relevant marriage concerns a same-sex couple.

  1. Two further elements of the ‘quadruple lock’ are provided in the opt-in requirements which are set out in the 1949 Act, as amended by the 2013 Act. 

 

  1. s.26A of the 1949 Act (as amended by s.4 of the 2013 Act) concerns opt-in requirements regarding places of worship. s.26A(1) provides that a marriage of a same-sex couple in an appropriately registered building may be solemnized on the authority of two certificates of a superintendent registrar. s.26A(3) of the 1949 Act provides that an application for the registration of such a building may not be made unless the relevant governing authority has given written consent to marriages of same-sex couples. This requirement for written consent from the governing authority is an element of the ‘quadruple lock’. 

 

  1. Schedule 1 of the 2013 Act amended the 1949 Act to introduce a number of provisions regarding the registration of buildings for the marriage of same-sex couples. s.43A(1) provides that buildings certified as a place of religious worship may be registered for the solemnization of marriages of same-sex couples. This requirement for the registration of places of worship in order to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies there is a further element of the ‘quadruple lock’.

 

  1. s.43A(2) – (7) of the 1949 Act sets out the procedure for making an application for the registration of a place of worship for such purpose. In essence, an application for registration is made by the proprietor or trustee of the building to the superintendent registrar. That application must include, among other things, a certificate that the relevant governing authority in relation to that building has given written consent to the marriages of same-sex couples and a copy of that consent.

 

  1. The final element of the ‘quadruple lock’, i.e. the requirement for the religious official to consent to the conduct of the marriage, was an existing requirement in the 1949 Act before the amendments made by the 2013 Act. s.44(1) of the 1949 Act provides that a marriage may be solemnized in a registered building provided that the minister or of one of the trustees, owners, deacons or managers of the registered building gives consent.

 

Section 3: European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

 

  1. An appraisal of the ECHR compatibility of the ‘quadruple lock’ provisions is set out on pages 10-11 of P.77/2015. That appraisal is based on the UK Government’s view of the human rights implications of these safeguards and takes into account opinion from Queen’s Counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Liberty. It is the view of the Law Officers that an ECHR assessment of the proposed safeguard provisions to be introduced into Jersey law would follow the UK Government’s appraisal.  

 

Section 4: Instructions

  1. For the purpose of the instructions set out in this chapter relating to the quadruple lock a person means a relevant religious organisation or the relevant governing authority of a relevant religious organisation, or an official of a relevant religious organisation.

 

  1. The relevant governing authority being the person or persons recognised by members of the relevant religious organisation as competent to give consent for the solemnization of marriage. The relevant religious organisation being the religious organisation for whose religious purposes the location is used (See s.4 (1)).

 

Solemnization of marriage according to the rites of the Church of England

  1. Marriage according to the rites of the Church of England must remain unchanged. The Canons of the Church of England in Jersey, which state that marriage is a union between “one man and one woman” (B30 1), should remain unchanged. (See 2013 Act s1 (3).

 

  1. The amended law should not provide any special extra protections to the Church of England which are not afforded to other religious organisations (i.e. it must not be banned for opting into same-sex marriage in the future, in the event that it chooses to do so).

 

  1. The amended law must, however, put the Church of England in Jersey in the same position as other religious organisations. This means that the common law duty of Anglican clergy to marry a parishioner in their parish church must not be extended to same-sex couples and any corresponding right of parishioners to be married by such clergy does not extend to same-sex couples. (See 2013 Act s1 (4) and (5).

 

  1. The amended law permits the marriage of same-sex couples in places of public religious worship where the governing authority has consented to the solmization of same-sex marriage in that place of public religious worship.  The amended law must make clear, however, that this opt-in does not apply in respect of marriage according to the rites of the Church of England.

 

Note: Examples in relation to Church of England

 

  • An Anglican vicar preaches in his church that marriage according to the Church of England is only between one man and one woman. This is a lawful explanation of Canon law.

 

  • A man lives next door to a Church of England parish church and wishes to get married there. He is getting married to a woman. Neither of them has ever attended services at the church or professes to be Christian. He speaks to the vicar who agrees to marry the couple, given his legal duty to marry parishioners.

 

  • A man who lives next door to a Church of England parish church wishes to get married there. He is getting married to a man. Both of them regularly attend services at the church and are committed Christians. He speaks to the vicar who has to refuse to marry the couple, since it would not be lawful for him to do so and the legal duty to marry parishioners does not extend to same-sex couples.

 

No requirement to solemnize same-sex marriage or consent to solemnization and no compulsion to opt-in

  1. The amended law should (akin to s.2(2)) provide that no person may be compelled by any means:

a)             to solemnize a same-sex marriage

b)             to be present at, carry out, or otherwise participate in, a same-sex marriage, or

c)             to consent to a same-sex marriage being conducted.

 

  1. The amended law should further include a provision stating that no person may be compelled by any means, including by enforcement of a contract or a statutory or other legal requirement:

a)             to perform an opt-in activity, or

b)             to refrain from undertaking an opt-out activity or

c)             to conduct any act associated with a same-sex marriage.

 

  1. The amended law should define an opt-in activity as being (akin to s.2(3)):

a)             giving consent to a same-sex marriage

b)             applying to the approving authority for a location to be approved for same-sex marriage

c)             authorising a person to be present at the solemnization of marriages of same-sex couples in an approved location

d)             being authorised to be present at the solemnization of marriages of same-sex couples, and

e)             giving consent or certifying any matter in relation to a same-sex marriage.

 

  1. The amended law should define an opt-out activity as an activity which reverses or otherwise modifies the effect of an opt-in activity.

Opt-in to marriage of same-sex couples in relation to place of marriage (See chapter 9; place of marriage)

  1. A marriage may only be solemnized in a location which has been approved by the approving authority.

 

  1. Where that location is a place of public religious worship which has not already been approved for the solemnization of marriage (i.e.: is a registered building under the current 2001 Law) it must be certificated as a place of public religious worship. See chapter 9 (Place of marriage) for instructions relating to certification as a place of public religious worship.

 

  1. Where a location is a place of public religious worship, it may be approved just for the solemnization of opposite-sex marriage or for opposite-sex and same-sex marriage, but the application for approval in relation to same-sex marriage may not be made by the proprietor or trustee of that place of public religious worship unless the relevant governing authority has given written consent to marriages of same-sex couples – i.e., the relevant governing authority has opted in (akin to s.26A(3) of the 1949 Act).

 

  1. The amended law must further provide that the approving authority cannot approve a location which is a place of public religious worship for the solemnization of same-sex marriages unless the application for approval includes:

a)             a certificate from the proprietor/trustee confirming that the relevant governing authority has consented, and

b)             a copy of the written consent of the relevant governing authority.

 

  1. Where the place of public religious worship is a shared by more than one religious organisation, the application must set out:

a)             names of all the religious organisations sharing the place and

b)             whether the relevant governing authorities of each of those religious organisations has given written consent to the solemnization of same-sex marriage and

c)             whether the relevant governing authorities of each of those religious organisations has given consent to the shared location being used for solemnization of same-sex marriage.

 

  1. The amended law must provide that in order for a place of shared public religious worship to be approved for the solemnization of same-sex marriage:

a)             at least one of the relevant governing authorities must have given written consent to the solemnization of marriages between same-sex couples and

b)             each of the other relevant governing authorities must have given written consent for the shared place known to be used for solemnization of marriages between same-sex couples (consent for a place to be used for same-marriage is distinct from consent to solemnization of same-sex marriage)

 

 

 


Individual religious official is willing to solemnize a same-sex marriage (See chapter 5)

  1. The amended law should provide that:

a)             only authorised individuals may solemnize marriage in Jersey and, where that authorised individual is a religious official they must have explicitly consented to conduct the solemnization of same-sex marriage, and that

b)             no authorised religious official can be compelled to solemnize same-sex marriage even where the relevant governing authority has consented to the solemnization of same-sex marriage or where the proprietors/trustees of a place of public religious worship have applied for approval in relation the solemnization of same-sex marriage.

 

  1. These provisions echo s.44(1) of the 1949 Act which provides that no marriage shall be solemnized in any registered building without the consent of the minister or of one of the trustees, owners, deacons or managers thereof, or in the case of a registered building of the Roman Catholic Church, without the consent of the officiating minister thereof.

 

  1. In addition, where a location is approved for both opposite-sex marriage and same-sex marriage (i.e. the location is not a place of public religious worship), an authorised religious official cannot be compelled to solemnization marriages at that location even if the marriage is a marriage between an opposite-sex couple.

 

  1. As an additional safeguard, the amended law should provide that the SR can only issue a marriage schedule – that marriage schedule setting out the name of the authorised individual who is solemnizing the marriage – once the SR has confirmed that the named authorised individual has consented to marry a same-sex couple or to marry any couple at a location approved for both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples where that name authorised individual is an authorised religious celebrant.

 

 

Discrimination law

 

  1. The Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 (the “2013 Law”) must be amended so that it explicitly states that it is not unlawful discrimination for a religious organisation or an official of that religious organisation to refuse to conduct an activity in relation the solemnization of same-sex marriage, for example, it is lawful for:

a)             the governing body, or any member of that governing body, of a religious organisation to decide it will not opt in to conducting same-sex marriage. It cannot be forced to do so by any legal action, include action taken under the Discrimination Law

b)             an authorised religious official to refuse to solemnize a same-sex marriage, even where the religious organisation has opted in to conducting same-sex marriage.

 

  1. This extends to authorised religious officials who are employed by secular organisations/service providers, although it does not extend to their employers who must still not discriminate in relation to their service provision, for example, a hospital chaplain can lawfully refuse to marry a same-sex couple who are hospital patients, even where the governing body of their religious organisation has consented to same-sex marriage. His employer (i.e., the hospital) must make alternative arrangements in relation to the marriage of that same-sex couple.

 

  1. These amendments must extend to a person, whether they are an employee or a volunteer, who provides services where those services form part of the religious act of worship or where those services are provided to a religious organisation as opposed to the public, for example

a)             an organist who usually plays at wedding services can lawfully refuse to play at wedding service of a same-sex couple because the playing of the organ is part of the religious act of worship

b)             a volunteer flower arranger who usually decorates the place of worship refuses to do so for a wedding of a same-sex couple because she does not approve of such marriages. Her role is not part of the religious marriage service, but her refusal is lawful because the service she offers is to the church rather than to the public or a section of the public.

 

  1. These amendments do not extend to a person (employee or volunteer) or organisation that is providing a good, facility or service, which is not part of the religious marriage service, for example: if a commercial photographer refused to photograph a wedding of a same-sex couple, their refusal is unlawful discrimination because their role is not part of the religious marriage service and the service provided is a service to the public.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chapter 2: Processes associated with solemnization and registration of marriage

 

Section 1: Introduction

 

  1. In reviewing the 2001 Law and associated Orders to allow for the introduction of same-sex marriage and open-air marriage, it has become evident that process set out in that law in relation to the solemnization and registration of marriage are overly bureaucratic and, at the same time, fail to provide sufficient safeguards against sham or forced marriage.

 

  1. Chapter 2 sets out instructions to the Law Draftsman to amend the 2001 Law in order to bring forward changes that are intended to ensure that:

a)             the processes associated with the solemnization and registration of marriage are as straightforward as possible, and

b)             the same processes and timeframes in the marriage process are reflect in the marriage conversion process to the extent that it is possible to do so, and

c)             the law provides appropriate safeguards against forced and sham marriage, particularly given the changes in UK legislation which are designed to provide increase protection against marriages being formed in order to by-pass immigration controls.

 

Section 2: Instructions relating to the marriage process

  1. Any person who intends to solemnize their marriage in Jersey requires the permission of the Superintendent Registrar (SR) to do so, unless they are getting married in accordance with the rites of the Anglican Church. The instructions below predominately relate to Part 2 of the 2001 Law, marriage in Jersey with the permission of the SR, as opposed to Part 3 which deals with marriage in accordance with the rites of the Anglican Church.

 

 

Applying to give Notice of Marriage (civil and non-Anglican religious marriage)

 

 

  1. For the purposes of clarification any two persons, regardless of their sex or where they live, may marry in Jersey providing:

a)             they are both of an age to get married on the day of their marriage

b)             they are not related to one another in a way which would prevent them from marrying

c)             they are unmarried and not in a civil partnership (unless they are in a qualifying civil partnership with each other and are converting that civil partnership into a marriage)

d)             they are capable of understanding the nature of a marriage ceremony and of consenting to marry

e)             they have the appropriate immigration status or hold a relevant visa in respect of marriage.

 

  1. Parties who intends to get married in Jersey, with the permission of the SR, must both give notice of their intention to marry. This includes parties who are Jersey resident, non-Jersey resident and is regardless of nationality.

 

Note: Giving notice

 

Different UK jurisdictions have different requirements in relation as to whether a person can, or must, give notice in their place of residency in addition to the place in which they are getting married. As illustrated below, this results in a great deal of complexity:

 

Current position in Jersey

 

  • Jersey resident marries England and Wales resident (E&W) in Jersey: Both give notice in Jersey. Currently no requirement in Jersey for a certificate of no impediment (CONI) in relation to the non-resident
  • Jersey resident marries E&W resident in E&W: One gives notice in Jersey (in order to acquire a CONI which is required in E&W) one gives notice in E&W
  • 2 British subjects who are Jersey residents get married in E&W:  either both must give notice in E&W or 1 in E&W and 1 in Jersey (in order to acquire a CONI)
  • 2 non British subjects who are Jersey residents get married in E&W: both must give notice in E&W

 

 

Current position in England and Wales

If you live in Scotland and are getting married in England and Wales, you can give notice in Scotland, providing your partner is giving notice in England and Wales.

 

If you both living in Scotland, but are getting married in the England and Wales, one party has to give notice in England and Wales, one has to give notice in Scotland in relation to acquiring a CONI.

 

Current position in Scotland

If you live in England and Wales and are getting married in Scotland to a person who lives in Scotland or a person who lives in England and Wales but who has parent living in Scotland, you can give notice in England and Wales as opposed to in Scotland, providing the person who you marry is giving notice in Scotland

 

If you both live in England and Wales but are getting married in Scotland, you have to give notice in Scotland.

 

------------------------

 

In determining how best to manage the issue of giving notice, and any associate requirements in relation to a CONI, consideration has been given as to:

  • how best to balance complexity of administration against potential risk of bigamous or sham marriage
  • whether exceptions should be made in relation to some UK residents as per the Scottish model.

 

It has been decided that, in order to ensure consistency and clarity, all parties to a marriage in Jersey, regardless of whether or not they are UK resident or British citizens:

  1. must give notice in Jersey (in order to simplify the associated processes, the amended law will allow for both parties to give notice at the same time), and
  2. should secure a CONI from their place of residency (or where they are unable to secure a CONI must provide a “no trace letter”) if they are not resident in Jersey.

 

 

 

  1. The SR will determine the details of how a couple apply to give notice (e.g.: content of electronic and paper forms etc.) but that process must include the requirements set out below.

 

  1. One or both of the parties to the marriage, or a representative of the parties to the marriage, must apply to the SR for the parties to give notice.

 

  1. They can apply electronically, in writing or in person at the SR’s office. Electronically could include via email or, once e-forms are created, via the web. If they are applying in person, one or both of the parties or their representative may attend the SR’s office but they must make an appointment in advance.

 

  1. In applying they must inform of the SR of:

a)             the first names and surnames of both parties to the wedding as they are to appear on the notice to marriage, the marriage schedule and marriage certificate and as they appear in their supporting documents

b)             the intended date and location of the marriage

c)             the intended authorised individual if they have booked an authorised individual – whether an authorised civil celebrant or authorised religious official -  or if they wish the SR or deputy to solemnize the marriage

d)             their sex (this is in order that the SR can check the proposed location for the wedding to ensure it is approved for same-sex marriage if the couples to the marriage are of the same-sex)

e)             their civil status

f)               their nationality and immigration status (i.e. whether they require a visa to get married in Jersey).

 

  1. At the point at which they apply to give notice, they must:

a)                    verify their intention to provide a CONI, a no trace letter or equivalent prior to the issuing of the marriage schedule, in the event these are required (see below)

 

b)             provide the SR copies of all the required supporting evidence, which must include:

a)            evidence of name

b)            evidence of date and place of birth

c)             evidence of nationality

d)            evidence of place of residence and period of residency

e)            evidence of immigration status if either party is not a British citizen or a European Economic Area (EEA) or a Swiss national. (At this stage the couple may not have the relevant visas in place to get married, as they may apply for the visa after they have applied to give notice to get married, providing to the relevant visa authority evidence that they have applied to give notice to get married. They must however, have all the relevant visas in place and the SR must have received formal notification from Customs and Immigration that the couple have the appropriate visas in place to allow them to get married in Jersey, before the SR can enter the notice into the notice to marry book).

f)               if previously married or in a civil partnership, evidence that it has been dissolved or annulled or ended by death

g)            evidence of their sex

h)            statement from an appropriate authority in the event of an emergency or special circumstances marriage.

 

  1. The Law should provide the Minister with the powers by amend what supporting evidence is required and should place a requirement on the SR to bring forward detailed guidance setting out what documents will be accepted by the SR in relation to evidence of name etc.

 

  1. They must pay the fees required by the SR (note: separate instructions on fees are being developed). No fees paid to the SR can be reclaimed.

 

Note to fees

Because no fees can be reclaimed this means the SR may take monies for publishing a notice to marry, which is never actually published because the SR determines that it cannot be published for whatever reason. This risk needs to be made clear to the couple in all supporting literature.

 

Note: Sex as opposed to gender

 

Information captured under this legislation should refer to an individual’s sex as opposed to their gender (i.e. an individual’s sex is defined by their biology, rather than ‘gender’ which is the state of being male or female, which can often be a social or cultural construct).

 

Information about sex is required in order to identify whether the marriage is taking place between a same-sex couples in which case the quadruple lock will apply.

 

It is possible that a person’s birth certificate and passport could provide the person’s sex as being different but this would most probably only arise where a person who has changed their gender, has update their passport or obtained a new birth certificate, as per the Gender Recognition (Jersey) Law 2010.

 

 

  1. At application stage the couple are only required to provide electronic or paper copies of supporting evidence. These must however be copies of original documents or copies of certified copies.

 

  1. The provision of copies is to facilitate couples to apply to give notice in advance via email or post, particularly where they are not resident in Jersey. The couple will however be required in law to provide originals in person prior to the SR granting permission to marry.

 

  1. All documents must be in English or French only. If provided in another language they must be accompanied by a certified translation.  Where a document is translated they must provide a copy of the original document and the translation.

 

Note: certified translation

 

There is no statutory definition or interpretation of ‘certified translation’. In practice a ‘certified translation’ simply means the translation of an official document that has been certified as accurate. This can be done in a number of ways, for example,

  • having the document certified by the translator (in so doing the translator should state his or her qualifications for making the translation);
  • having the document signed in front of a Solicitor, Notary Public etc. as being “true to the original”.

 

 

 

  1. The SR should be provided discretion to forego provision of some of the evidence required or to accept other documents/evidence in lieu of those set out in guidance where it is, in the SR’s view, reasonable to do so. This cannot, however, include information required in relation verifying identify and verifying immigration status and visa requirements.

 

  1. On receipt of an application to give notice, the SR must electronically capture the copies of the documents provided. The law must provide the SR with the authority to electronically store them.

 

  1. The SR must check the information provided. The law therefore needs to allow the SR to obtain information from, and exchange information with, any authority which the SR believes is appropriate in order to assist with verification of the information provided or to determine if there may be grounds for the SR not to publish notice to marry or issue the marriage schedule. This can include but is not limited to

(a)          Parish Registrars

(b)          Registrars in other jurisdictions

(c)           Customs and immigration

(d)          Jersey Family Court

(e)          Parish and States Departments

 

  1. The law also needs to provide the SR authority to provide information to any appropriate authority, on their request, where that authority is seeking that information in order to verify matters relating to the civil status of an individual.

 

  1. The law should provide the SR the authority to:

a)             request any additional information that the SR feels is necessary

b)             interview each of the partners individually or together at any point between them applying to give notice to marry and the marriage date in order to:

  1. verify any of the information provided
  2. to confirm that both parties wish to get married and are capable of consenting to marriage.

 

  1. At the point at which the SR is satisfied with the information provided and has received the necessary fees, the SR will issue to the parties and/or their representative:

(a)          a notice to marry form

(b)          a freedom to marry declaration

(c)           a marriage appointment slip (Note: this is not a matter for the law, it is a matter of process for the SR’s office)

 

  1. The SR cannot issue the notice to marry form unless the SR is satisfied that both parties to the marriage have the appropriate immigration status or have the right visas in place.

 

 

Note: Immigration and visa requirements

 

The rules in relation to visa requirements for the purpose of getting married are relatively complex. In summary:

 

EEA or Swiss nationals

EEA or Swiss nationals, who are holders of a national passport or a national identity card do not require a visa to enter Jersey or to get married in Jersey, regardless of whether or not they choose to settle in Jersey.

 

Non EEA or Swiss nationals who are Visa Nationals

  • Visa Nationals include nationals from countries such as Thailand and South Africa (www.gov.uk lists all visa national countries or territorial entities)
  • Visa nationals can only get married in Jersey if they only hold a visa which confers permission to enter Jersey and that visa is endorsed with permission to marry

 

Non EEA or Swiss nationals who are Non-Visa Nationals

  • Includes nationals from countries or territorial entities that are not Visa Nationals (e.g.: United States of America)
  • Do not require a visa to enter Jersey but do require a visa to get married in Jersey (i.e. could enter Jersey as a visitor without a visa, but could not get married whilst here unless they then apply for a visa endorsed with permission to marry).

 

Permission to marry

There are two different forms of permission to marry visa:

 

“Marriage visitor” visa

  • Issued to Visa Nationals and Non-Visa Nationals who are coming to Jersey for the purposes of getting married in Jersey but who are not settling in Jersey

 

  • A “Marriage visitor” visa can only be applied for up to 3 months before the date of travel to Jersey

 

 

‘Marriage’ visa (also known as a fiancé(e) visa)

  • Issued to Visa Nationals and Non-Visa Nationals who intend to get married in Jersey to someone who is resident in Jersey, and who intend to settle in Jersey
  • The person who holds this visa must get married within 6 months of the visa being issued and must then apply for permission to remain in Jersey. Would initially be granted permission to remain for 2.5 years at which point they could apply for a further 2.5 years; after which they may apply to remain in Jersey for an indefinite period
  • A ‘Marriage’ visa can only be applied for up to 3 months before the date of travel to Jersey

 

Process

It is the responsibility of the parties to the marriage to ensure they have the correct visa to get married in Jersey.

 

The couple do not have to have the right visa in place to apply to give notice to marry. The couple can therefore provide evidence of their application to give notice to marry at a British Diplomatic Post, if that authority requires evidence of their intent to marry in Jersey.

 

Before the SR can issue the notice to marry form and enter the notice to marry in the notice to marry book;

  • The couple must have the right visas in place
  • The SR must have received from Jersey C&I service formal notification that the couple have the appropriate visas in place to allow them to get married in Jersey (if visas required because the couple do not have the appropriate immigration status).

 

 

Note: a marriage will be void if the couple knowingly marry without the correct visas in place.

 

 

 

 

  1. The notice to marry form, which will be published in the public domain, should include the following:

 

Notice to marriage

 

(a)          A statement by the couple (e.g.: We hereby give notice that we intend to marry each other on [date], that date being no more than 12 months from the date on which we signed this notice)

(b)          Forenames and Surname for each party

(c)           Civil status for each party

(d)          Date of birth each party

(e)          Nationality of each party

(f)            Usual place and country of residence and period of residence for each party

(g)          Date of proposed marriage

(h)          Approved location where the marriage must be solemnized (where the marriage is in the open-air, this may include map/grid reference)

(i)             Signature and date signed, by each party.

 

 

The Notice to marry form will not include details of occupation or of the place/period of stay in the Island, as it is not clear of the benefits of the provision of this information.

 

Note: Location of wedding

The notice of marriage, as provided for in the 2002 Order, includes details of the location of the wedding. Consideration was given to allowing a couple to list both a primary location and a secondary location on their marriage notice. The thinking being that if the weather was bad, and their primary location was an outdoor location, they could move the wedding from that primary location to the secondary location.

 

Having considered this is more detail, however, it is clear that this will be extremely complex to administer particularly in relation to:

a)      registration in the appropriate Parish register

b)      ensuring that people who wished to attend the marriage were able to do so (including potential objectors)

 

  1. The Law must provide that the marriage can only be solemnised at the place described on the notice to marriage and on the marriage schedule. In the event that the location or date changes post notice being provided, the SR must be able to annotate the notice.

 

  1. The SR can only annotate the notice to show a change of date if the revised date is still at least 25 clear days after the date on which the annotation is made (i.e. the annotated notice will be on public display for at least 25 clear days before the date of the marriage).

 

  1. The SR can only annotate the notice to show a change of location if the location is changed at least 25 clear days before the date of wedding as shown on the notice (i.e. the annotated notice will be on public display for at least 25 clear days before the date of the marriage).

 

  1. See separate instructions on unforeseen circumstances in relation to any unforeseen circumstances that arise which may require changes within the 25 clear day notice periods.

 

  1. In making changes, the SR must annotate the notice to marry book, plus the published notice to marry. The SR must also update all electronic records.

 

  1. In the event that it is decided that marriage will not take place, for any reason, after notice has been given but prior to the day of the wedding, the SR will annotate the notice to marry book and will remove the published notice as soon as reasonability practicable.

 

 

Note: Period of notice

 

In England and Wales, the notice period has just been extended from 16 days to 28 days, with a potential for up to 70 days for non-EEA nationals who are not able to present evidence of settled status, permanent residence or a marriage/civil partnership visa.

 

The requirement for 28 days’ notice is set out in section 31(1) of the Marriage Act 1949. The increase of the notice period to 28 days was made pursuant to the Immigration Act 2014 (Sch.4(1) para.10(2)(a))).

 

The UK’s rationale for this increase is to help ensure that the process for giving notice of marriage or civil partnership disrupts or deters sham marriages and civil partnerships.

 

In Jersey, under the 2001 Law, notice of marriage must currently be given to the SR 7 days before the proposed date of marriage.

 

It is proposed that this is extended. Under the revised law, the notice must be on public display for 25 clear days before the date of the wedding. The amended law also allows the SR 3 days to publish the notice from the point at which notice is given i.e. 28 days in total.

 

Given the increased protections introduced in the UK, it would be desirable to follow suit. Doing so will help deter individuals wishing to enter into a sham marriage from perceiving Jersey to have “weak spot” which could be used to circumvent UK migration controls

 

In making these changes it is important to note however that our law is different from England and Wales in that:

 

  • whilst parties to a marriage can apply to the SR to give notice without having the right visas in place, they cannot actually give notice (i.e. the SR cannot enter the notice of marriage into the notice of marriage book) until the parties have demonstrated that they have the appropriate immigration status/visa;

 

  • the extension of up to 70 days for non-EEA nationals is not required in Jersey because our law will set out that notice cannot be given unless the SR has confirmed in advance that the parties to the marriage either have the appropriate immigration status or the appropriate visa.

 

The extension to 25 clear days is not intended to allow the SR time to check immigration status (as the SR must have confirmation of immigration or visa status before the SR can issue the notice to marry form and enter the notice to marry in the notice to marry book) but to allow additional time for any objections, which may be received in relation to sham or forced marriage to be investigated.

 

 


Freedom to marry declaration

 

  1. Art 8 (5) (b) of the 2001 Law sets out that the SR cannot enter a marriage into the notice to marry book where that marriage is with a former step son etc. (Art 4 (2) of the 2001 Law), unless the SR has received a signed copy of declaration set out in Part 2 of the 2002 Order. This declaration only relates to those restricted relationships under Art 4 (2) of the Law (e.g.: with a former step child), it does not include any other restricted relationships (e.g.: between a parent and child). It is understood this is because Art 4 (2) is permissive in that it states that a marriage will not be void – unlike other marriages between related peopled – if certain conditions are met (i.e., the younger party of the marriage was never a child of the family of the other party to the marriage).

 

  1. Art 11 (2) of the 2001 Law requires, however, that the party requesting the licence to marry makes a solemn declaration that he/she believes there is no impediment to the marriage based on kindred or alliance or other lawful hindrances. Unlike Art 8 (5) (b) however, there is no associated form prescribed in the 2002 Order – the SR has instead developed their own declaration.

 

  1. It is therefore proposed that the Law is amended, so that each party to the marriage is required to sign their own freedom to marry declaration form. This form should cover all restrictions on marriage (i.e. it should fulfil the purpose of the declarations referred to in Art 8 (5) (b) and Art 11 (2)).

 

  1. It should be a requirement that the SR must have received a signed copy of the freedom to marry declaration before the SR can entered the notice to marry into the notice to marry book.

 

  1. The declaration should include the following:

(a)          reference to the fact that the declaration is made in accordance with the articles of the law that set out the restrictions to marriage

(b)          reference to the fact that this includes that, where the parties’ relationship to each other falls within the bounds of Article referencing marriage to former step children etc., both parties are declaring that at no time has neither of them been a child in the family of the other party

(c)           for example:

I, (full name), solemnly declare that I am free to marry (full name of intended spouse) and I know of no legal impediment to our intended marriage, including on grounds of kindred or affinity and at no time have I been a child of the family of my intended spouse.

 

(d)   the declaration must include the date and signature of the party to the marriage

 

  1. In addition to signing a freedom to marry declaration, some parties, depending on their residential status and nationality may also be required, at the point at which they attend the SR’s office in order for the SR to issue the marriage schedule to also provide a CONI or a no trace letter issued by the competent authority.

 

Publication of notice to marry

  1. Both parties to the marriage must sign the notice to marry form and the freedom to marry declaration and return to the SR. This can be an electronic copy or a paper copy.

 

  1. On receipt of a valid signed notice of marriage and freedom to marry declaration, the SR must:

a)             acknowledge, to the couple, receipt of the forms and

b)             enter into that notice to marry book the particulars of the notice to marry

c)             the facts of any declaration given.

 

  1. The SR can however, only enter the notice into the notice to marry book and can only acknowledge receipt of the notice if:

a)             the SR is satisfied that both parties are of full age or, in the event they are minors, consent has been obtained as part Art 6 of the 2001 Law

b)             a signed freedom to marry declaration has been received.

 

Note: as set out above the SR must have received, from C&I, formal notification that the couple have the appropriate visas (if visas required because the couple do not have the appropriate immigration status) before the SR issued the notice to marry form.

 

  1. Article 8 (2) of the 2001 Law states that one of the parties must have been ordinarily resident at their place of residence (whether or not in Jersey) for at least 7 days before they give notice. This should be amended to extend this requirement to both parties.

 

  1. The form used to give notice must ask both parties to confirm their period of residency at their address.

 

  1. The law must require the SR to keep a notice to marry book and to keep all notices of marriage and declarations (can be kept electronically).

 

  1. The date on which the marriage is entered into the notice to marry book is the day on which the couple will have been considered to give notice. This may be a different date from the date on which the couple signed the notice to marry form.

 

  1. The date on which notice to marry is given (i.e. the date on which the SR enters the notice into the notice to marry book) must be at least 25 clear days before the day of the wedding regardless of whether or not these are working day.

 

  1. A notice of marriage will be void after the expiry of 12 months from the day on which the SR enters the notice into the notice to marry book.

 


CONI/no trace letters for marriages taking place in Jersey

Note:  Purpose of a CONI

Where a non-Jersey resident is getting married in Jersey, the requirement to provide a CONI is being introduced as an additional control against bigamous or sham marriage. The CONI provides confirmation to the SR that the competent authority in the jurisdiction where the party to the marriages lives, knows of no impediment under that law of that jurisdiction, to the intended marriage (an impediment, could for example, include that the individual is married to someone else or that the individual is wishing to marry in circumstances which would result in the marriage being unlawful in the place of residency – for example, if they were below the legal age of marriage)

The primary purpose of a CONI is not related to immigration control – albeit it does provide an additional measure – it is instead to help ensure that a non-resident person is free to marry (i.e. they are not already married or in civil partnership with someone else). For this reason, the requirement for a CONI also relates to EEA nationals for whom there is no advances of getting married in Jersey for immigration purposes, because they can live in the UK without getting married there.

The CONI provide an additional safeguard over and above the parties to the marriage signing the freedom to marry declaration.

 

 

  1. The amended law must set out that if a party is getting married in Jersey and their usual place of residency is not Jersey, they should provide a CONI to the SR in order to get married in Jersey (subject to exceptions set out below). This includes:

a)             where a non-resident party is marrying a resident party in Jersey

b)             where two non-resident parties are marrying in Jersey

c)             all non-resident parties regardless of nationality or place of residency.

 

Note: requirement to provide CONI in England & Wales and Scotland

 

There are differences in the requirement to provide a CONI in England & Wales and Scotland, for example:

 

  • if you are getting married in E&W you are required to provide a CONI if you live in Scotland even if you are a British citizen;
  • if you are getting married in Scotland and you are a British citizen who lives abroad or you an Australian, New Zealand, Canadian or USA citizen you need not submit such a certificate.

 

There variations result in confusion about when CONI is or is not required – hence in order to provide clarity it has been determined that Jersey should simply require all non-residents to provide a CONI.

 

 

  1. The requirement to provide a CONI is in addition to the requirement to both parties to give notice in Jersey.

 

  1. The parties to the marriage do not require the CONI at the point at which they give notice in Jersey, but they must:

a)             inform the SR of their intention to provide a CONI at the point at which they apply to give notice

b)             provide a valid CONI to the SR before the SR can issue the marriage schedule. (This is to allow for the fact that CONI are valid for different periods of time depending on the issuing jurisdiction. For example: A Scottish CONI is only valid for 3 months, therefore a couple give notice to marry in Jersey 12 months before the wedding, and provide the CONI at that point in time, it will no longer be valid on the day of the marriage)

  1. The CONI must:

a)             be valid on the date of the marriage

b)             must be issued by the competent authority in the jurisdiction in which the non-resident party is resident (this is usually a Registrar of marriages but may be a different authority that has access to the marriage records in country of resident)

c)             must be in English or French (or, if in a different language, must be accompanied by a certified translation in English)

 

  1. Where the jurisdiction in which the party is resident will not provide a CONI the SR can accept a “no trace letter” or equivalent in lieu of the CONI. (For example, a jurisdiction might not provide CONI in relation to same-sex couples or might only provide in relation to people with certain residential statues e.g.: whilst Scottish authorities will provide a CONI in relation to any Scottish resident, the E&W authorities will only provide a CONI in relation to British citizens who are resident in E&W),

 

  1. The no trace letter must confirm that the issuing authority has undertaken a search of public records in that jurisdiction and that there is no record of the party to the marriage currently being married or in a civil partnership with another party. Where the no trace letter indicates there are records of a marriage or civil partnership, the party to the marriage will need to provide evidence that the marriage or civil partnership has ended.

 

  1. The no trace letter:

a)             must be current (i.e. it must not have been issued more than one month before the couple applied to give notice in Jersey)

b)             must be issued by the competent authority in the jurisdiction in which the non-resident party is resident (this is usually a Registrar of marriages but may be a different authority that has access to the marriage records in country of resident)

c)             must be in English or French (or, if in a different language, must be accompanied by a certified translation in English)

 

  1. The parties to the marriage do not require the no trace letter at the point at which they give notice in Jersey, but they must:

c)             inform the SR of their intention to provide a no trace letter at the point at which they apply to give notice and

d)             have provided a to the SR before the SR can issue the marriage schedule.

 

  1. The law must provide the SR powers to require CONI, no trace letter or equivalent from parties who are Jersey resident in the event that the SR believes there are valid reasons to do so, for example:

a)             if the SR has legitimate concerns that the party of the intended marriage may not be free to marry or

b)             that the party has been resident in Jersey for less than two years.

 

  1. In addition to allowing the SR to require a CONI, no trace letter or equivalent issued by the appropriate authority in which the non-Jersey resident party lives, the law should further allow the SR to require a CONI, no trace letter or equivalent issued by the appropriate authority in the jurisdiction of nationality of the non-Jersey resident party in the event that the SR believes there are valid reasons to do so (for example, if the SR has legitimate concerns that the party of the intended marriage may not be free to marry)

 

  1. The law must provide the SR powers:

a)             to forge the provision of a CONI, no trace letter or equivalent where the SR believes there is good reason to do so (for example, the authorities in the jurisdiction of residency do not provide the facility or will not issue in relation to same-sex couples)

b)             to refuse to issue a marriage schedule or to delay the issuing of a marriage schedule in the event that a CONI, no trace letter or equivalent is not provided and the SR does not consider that there is good reason not to do so.

 

  1. The law must provide the SR with the ability to require that a CONI and no trace letter is legalised by the application of an apostille where the SR believes there are reasonable grounds to do so.

 

Note: An apostille

 

The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (otherwise known as the ‘Apostille’ or ‘Hague’ Convention) is an international treaty which the UK signed up to, and extended to Jersey, in 1965. Under the Convention, a document issued in one of the signatory countries can be certified for legal purposes in all the other signatory states. This is called an apostille and is an international certification comparable to a notarisation in domestic law. It typically supplements a local notarisation of the document. The apostille is normally requested by foreign authorities and organisations so they can be used for official purposes outside of the UK.

 

The competent authority in Jersey for the purposes of The Hague Convention is the Legalisation Office at Maritime House. Documents are typically notarised first by a public notary and then sent to the Legalisation Office who affix the apostille certificate.

 

 

  1. The law must provide the SR to disclose any information about CONI or no trace letters to any authority that the SR deems relevant. This includes, in relation to the non-provision of a CONI or no trace letter.

 

Issue of certificates of no impediment for marriage outside Jersey

  1. Article 13 of the 2001 Law provides for the SR to issue certificates for the solemnization of marriage outside of Jersey, where one or both of the parties to the marriage are Jersey resident.

 

  1. This certificate, which should be known in law as a CONI to marriage, is a means via which the parties to a marriage who are Jersey resident can demonstrate to the authorities in the jurisdiction in which the marriage is to take place that:

a)             the party in whose name the certificate has been issued has given notice to marry in accordance with Jersey Law, and

b)             the SR knows of no impediment to the marriage.

 

A CONI is not the equivalent of permission or licence to marry.


 

Note: Acceptance of certificates in other jurisdictions

 

Giving notice in Jersey – and acquiring a CONI - does not, necessarily mean that the couple do not need to also give notice in the jurisdiction in which they are getting married.  Different jurisdictions have different requirements and the couple will need to check those requirements and ensure they comply with them.

 

Some jurisdictions do not require a certificate and others will not accept a CONI except in limited circumstances as defined in their legislation, and others will only accept a certificate issued within a given timeframe (for example, only accept certificated issued 3 months before a wedding as opposed to 12 months),

 

Where the jurisdiction in which they are getting married does requires a CONI (or equivalent) the SR can only issue the certificate if notice has been given in Jersey, regardless of whether the couple are also required to give notice in the jurisdiction in which they are getting married.

 

For example, it is a requirement of English and Welsh law that a certificate of no known impediment issued by the Jersey SR will only be accepted in England and Wales in relation to Jersey residents who are also British subjects.

 

The SR should therefore advice Jersey residents who are applying for a CONI to check with the authorities in the jurisdiction in which they are getting married if they will accept a CONI from the SR in Jersey. It is the responsibility of the person in whose name the certificate is issued to ensure that it is accepted in that jurisdiction.

 

 

  1. The SR can only issue a CONI to a party to a marriage:

a)             who is ordinarily resident in Jersey and

b)             has been ordinarily resident for a least 7 days prior to applying to give notice to the SR (note: in Scotland there is no qualifying period of residency)

 

 

Process of applying for a CONI

 

  1. A CONI relates to the individual in whose name it is issued, it does not relate to both parties to the marriage. In the event that both parties to the marriage are Jersey resident, both will need to be issued their own CONI.

 

  1. In order to be issued a CONI, both parties must apply to give notice and give notice in exactly the same way as if they getting married in Jersey, except for some minor differences as set out below. This is regardless of whether both parties are Jersey resident (and hence both require a CONI) or whether only one of the parties to the marriage is Jersey resident (and hence only they need the CONI)

 

  1. The timeframe for applying for a CONI is the same one-year maximum time frame that applies in relation to giving notice. 

 

 

  1. In applying to give notice, for the purposes of securing a CONI, both parties must inform the SR of:

g)             the first names and surnames of both parties to the wedding as they are to appear on the notice to marriage and that CONI, and as they appear in their supporting documents

h)             the intended date and location of the marriage

i)               their sex

j)               their civil status.

 

Unlike the standard process for giving notice they do not need to inform the SR of the intended celebrant.

 

  1. They must all provide the SR copies of all the required supporting evidence. The supporting evidence in relation to both parties to the marriage (regardless of whether only one requires a CONI) must include:

a)            evidence of name

b)            evidence of date and place of birth

c)             evidence of sex

d)            evidence of nationality

e)            evidence of place of residence and period of residency

f)               if previously married or in a civil partnership, evidence that it has been dissolved or annulled or ended by death

 

Unlike the standard process for giving notice they do not need to provide SR the evidence of immigration status as the marriage is not taking place in Jersey. This is a matter for jurisdiction in which the marriage is to be solemnized.

 

  1. As per the standard process the SR must check the information provided and the law must provide the necessary powers. This will include checking period of residency in Jersey. Once the SR is satisfied the SR will issue to the parties or their representative:

(d)          a notice to marry form in relation to a CONI

(e)          a freedom to marry declaration

 

  1. Prior to determining whether to issue the CONI, the SR must take into account any written objection that the SR has received in relation to its issue (written objections include an objection submitted by electronic means)

 

  1. The CONI, freedom to marry declaration and notice to marry form should be the same as for the standard process except the details provided in relation to the place of marriage should include country and region only, as opposed to details of approved location).

 

  1. As per the standard process both parties must sign and return the notice to marry form and the free to marry declaration. The SR will enter into the notice to marry book and publish. The SR will annotate to show that the notice relates to the issue of CONI

 

  1. No less than 25 clear days after notice has been published, the parties that are Jersey resident and who require a CONI must attend the SR’s office in order to request their CONI. In doing so, they must:

a)             sign the CONI in front of the SR, so that the SR can verify against their signature on the notice to marry application form and freedom to marry declaration

b)             bring with them all the original documents in relation to themselves (copies of which were provided at the point at which they applied to give notice)

c)             bring with them, in relation to any non-resident party to the marriage either:

  1. an original document verifying proof of age and name or
  2. a certified copy

d)             if these are not in English or French, they must provide a certificated translation of the birth certificate

e)             provide the appropriate payment.

 

  1. This information must be provided in relation to the non-resident party in order to help safeguard against the of the SR issuing a CONI to an individual who is intending to marry another person who is not of the age to get married (in accordance with Jersey law).

 

  1. The SR should keep a record of the information received in relation to CONI, including where an CONI was applied for but never issued for whatever reason. (NOTE: is a matter of practice rather than law)

 

  1. The SR does not require original documents relating to proof of sex in relation to the non-resident party. It is a matter for the jurisdiction in which the marriage it taking place to as to whether same-sex marriage is permitted.

 

  1. The SR shall issue the CONI in the

prescribed form as set out by Order unless:

a)             any lawful impediment to its issue has been shown to the SR’s satisfaction; or

b)             its issue has been forbidden as per Article 10 of the 2001 law (i.e. it relates to marriage of a minor under Article 6 of the law).

 

  1. That CONI will only be valid for 12 months from date of issue.

 

  1. The prescribed form should include:

 

 

CONI

Issued under (name of article and law)

 

Full name and address of applicant

 

Date that notice was published

 

The above named applicant has supplied to me the following information concerning his or her intended marriage.

 

 

Applicant

Intended spouse

Forename(s)

 

 

Surname(s)

 

 

Date of birth

 

 

Nationality

 

 

Place of birth

 

 

Country of residence

 

 

Place of usual residence

 

 

If place of usual residence in Jersey, date from which resident

 

 

Civil status

 

 

Proposed date of marriage

 

Proposed place of marriage

 

 

The SR will need to certify that:

a)      the applicant has met the legal requirements of the law of Jersey as set out in the (name of law) and that

b)      there are no reasons known to me to under the law of Jersey that would prevent the applicant from marrying if the marriage where to take place in Jersey

c)      it appears to the SR that there is no impediment to the applicant marrying

 

Signature and Date (plus position – SR or Deputy)

Period during which the certificate is valid (12 months from date of issue)

 

Signature and date of signature of the party in whose name the CONI is issued.

 

 

 

  1. A CONI only relates to the one party named on the certificate (i.e. if both parties to the marriage are Jersey resident and have given notice, the SR will need to issue both with their own certificate).

 

  1. The law must provide the Minister powers, in Order, to set out the fees to be charged by the SR in relation to CONI. This will include:

a)      an application fee (as per the application fee for giving notice

b)      fee for issuing the CONI (as per the fee charged for issuing a marriage schedule)

 

Note: Jersey residents marrying outside Jersey

 

They must ensure they also check the legislation and requirements of the country in which they are getting married. In some jurisdictions:

  • the CONI may need to be legalised by the application of an apostille, issued by the legalisation section of Jersey Customs and Immigration (this is not necessary for UK weddings), or
  • the couple may need to provide a sworn affidavit confirming they are legally able to marry (some countries require both a CNI and a sworn affidavit)
  • whilst the CONI is valid for 12 months, different jurisdictions may have different requirements in relation to the timeframe between date of issue and date of marriage.

 

 

 

 

No trace letter

 

  1. The law should not provide for non-residents to obtain a CONI. It should however allow for non-residents (Jersey born and non-Jersey born) to apply to the SR for “no trace” letter. Residents (Jersey born and non-Jersey born) should also be allowed to apply.

 

  1. A “no trace” is a letter issued by the SR on the applicant’s behalf which states that a search of public records has been undertaken in Jersey and there is no record of a current marriage or civil partnership. Where there are records of a marriage or civil partnership and/or records of the ending of that marriage or civil partnership, that information will also be set out in the letter.

 

  1. An applicant should apply to the SR in the form to be prescribed by the Minster. They should provide the required evidence and documentation and the required fee.

 

  1. The Minister must be able to provide for the fee by Order, this will include in relation to all searches.

 

  1. The SR will bring forward guidance on the required evidence and information which must include:

a)             the applicants full name and postal address.

b)             the reason for requiring letter

c)             the applicants date and place of birth.

d)             the applicant’s mother’s maiden surname.

e)             if the applicant has been:

  1. married before, name of previous spouse and date and place of divorce; or
  2. widowed, spouse name and date of death.

 

  1. On receipt of the information and appropriate fee, the SR will:

a)             search the marriage, civil partnership and marriage conversion indexes in Jersey

b)             search death records in relation to previous marriage or civil partnership which ended on death of the other spouse/civil partners

c)             request a search of the Jersey Family Court records for divorce and dissolution records that relation to a previous marriage or civil partnership which was annulled or ended by divorce or dissolution.

 

  1. The SR will set out all the information held on those records in the “no trace” letter. (Note: the letter must set out that in verifying what records are held, the SR is not verifying any current or previous period of residency in Jersey)

 

 


Marriage on authority of certificate issued outside Jersey (Article 12, 2001 Law)

  1. Article 12 of the 2001 Law provides for marriage on authority of a ‘certificate for marriage’ issued outside Jersey, where the marriage is between;

a)             a British subject resident in Jersey and

b)             a British subject resident in the British islands.

 

  1. It set out that the following shall have effect as if it were a licence.

a)             a certificate for marriage issued by SR in England and Wales, or Registrar General in Guernsey (or their Deputy) or a registrar in Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man or

b)             a certificate of due publication of notice of intention to marry issued by a registrar in Scotland.

 

  1. It is not completely clear what the “certificate for marriage” actually is, as there is no “certificate for marriage” referred to in the legislation of the other jurisdictions and the explanatory notes associated with P89/2001 (the report and proposition in relation to the 2001 Law) provides no guidance. It is therefore assumed that it is a reference to a CONI.

 

  1. In order to have been issued a CONI by UK Registrars the parties to the marriage would have been required to give notice in their place of residence, hence negating the need to give notice in Jersey.

 

  1. The SR states however that this Article is not currently used due to the lack of understanding about its purpose and function, and where one of the parties is resident in the British Islands and they are getting married in Jersey, it has been common practice to require them to give notice in Jersey.

 

  1. Article 12 should therefore be removed. As set out above, the Law should require any party to a marriage who is getting married in Jersey to give notice in Jersey regardless of whether they are a British citizen who is resident in the British Islands.

 

  1. In the event that the “certificate of marriage” referred to is anything except for a CONI (for example, if it is intended to refer to permission or licence to get married), there is even more reason to remove the Article, as Jersey law should not provide for anyone other than the SR to give permission to get married in Jersey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Publication of notice to marry

 

  1. Having entered the notice in the notice to marry book, the SR must publish the notice to marry in the public domain. This entails displaying the notice or the particulars of a notice

(a)          at their office and

(b)          on-line and

(c)           in any other placed deemed appropriate by the SR

 

 

  1. The notice to marry must be published at least 25 clear days before the date of the wedding, regardless of whether or not these are working days.

 

 

Attendance at the office of the SR

  1. Each party to the marriage must attend the office of the SR in person, either separately or together. They must make an appointment to do so.

 

  1. They must provide to the SR original copies of the required supporting evidence and documents. These must be originals or certified copies. They must be in English or French. If they are in another language they must be accompanied by a certificated translation. They must provide both the original documents and the translations to the SR.

 

  1. They must provide the original copies to the SR in person when they attend the SR’s office.

 

  1. They must sign, in front of the SR

(a)          a copy of the original application form that they submitted, verifying that the details they provided were correct (annotating or amending any that have changed since the original application). The SR will place this in their records

(b)          a signature verifier form.

 

 

  1. This is to enable the SR to confirm that the signatures on the signature verifier match those on the notice and freedom to marry declaration form already provided.

 

  1. The SR will provide a copy of the signature verifier to the authorised individual solemnizing the marriage in order that the authorised individual can confirm that the two people signing the marriage schedule are the same two people who provided the supporting evidence and documents.

 

Note: Change of surname on marriage

 

Traditionally a woman may have changed her surname on marriage to her husband’s surname.  To do so, she would simply have presented her marriage certificate to the Passport office who would amend her passport accordingly. A copy of the marriage certificate also suffices for tax, social security, benefits and banking purposes (i.e. no deed poll is required).

 

The same also applies to civil partnerships, where one partner changes their surname to that of the other partner. This will also be the case once same-sex marriage is introduced.

 

The law, and associated practice, does not however, specifically provide for the following:

  1. a husband to take his wife’s surname
  2. a couple (whether opposite-sex or same-sex) to double barrel their surnames on marriage/civil partnership unless it is done via Deed poll.

 

Consideration was given to addressing this matter by bringing forward changes to this law in order to allow one or both of the parties to a marriage to formally register their post-marriage surname on their marriage certificate, in the following circumstances:

  • they do so at the point of marriage
  • one party is taking the other parties surname (regardless of whether it is the husband or wife who is change surname), or
  • other parties to the marriage are changing double barrelling their surname.

 

Whilst it is considered desirable to facilitate these changes from a policy perspective, it is not a simply matter to achieve. In part because much of the custom and practice in relation to change of names either comes from common law or simply from the policies and processes put in place by different authorities and services.

 

The law does not prevent any individual from calling themselves by a different name (Peter Jones can simply determine for himself that he is to be called Peter Smith), however, different agencies will require different “proofs” to accept a change of name (for example, in some circumstance a deed pool will be required, in others presentation of a marriage certificate).

 

Due to the complexity, it has therefore been determined that the Marriage and Civil Status Law should not make provision for changes on name of marriage, although amendments could be brought forward at a later date. It is also the case that name changes are not expressly provided for in:

  • the England and Wales Marriage (Same-sex) Act 2013,
  • the England and Wales Civil Partnership Act 2004.

 

In addition, there is not express provision made in the new Same-Sex Marriage (Guernsey) Law 2016.

 

 

  1. The parties must also provide all required fees to the SR. No fees can be refunded.

 

  1. The SR must have powers to forgo the provision of original copies of some supporting evidence where the SR believes it is reasonable to do so. The SR cannot do so however, unless the SR is satisfied as to the identity of both the parties to the marriage.

 

  1. Each party to the marriage must attend the SR in person to provide the required documents a maximum of 25 clear days before the date of the wedding (regardless of whether they are working days) and a minimum of 2 clear working days before the date of the wedding.

 

Marriage schedule and register entry

 

 

  1. Art 11 of the 2001 Law, plus Art 2 (3) and Part 2 of the 2002 Order, need to be amended to remove reference to marriage on authority of licence.  The licence will be replaced with a marriage schedule and register entry form.

 

  1. The marriage schedule and register entry form is a single form (for the purposes of these instructions it is referred to as the schedule form this point onwards).

 

  1. It is the issuing of this schedule by the SR that provides the couple permission to marry.

 

  1. For the purposes of clarity, a marriage between the parties named on the schedule may only be solemnized:

(a)          in the approved location named on the schedule and the marriage notice

(b)          on the day named on the schedule and marriage notice

(c)           by the authorised individual also named on the schedule

 

 

  1. The couple must therefore have notified the SR of the authorised individual prior to issuing of the Schedule or, in the event that the authorised individual is to be the SR or deputy, the SR must have informed the couple of the authorized authorised individual’s name.

 

  1. See separate instructions on unforeseen circumstances in relation to any unforeseen circumstances that arise which require the schedule to be changed after it has been issued.

 

  1. It is the responsibility of the SR to complete the schedule with the necessary information and issue that schedule to the authorised individual solemnizing the marriage.

 

  1. The SR can only issue the schedule:

(a)          if the SR is satisfied that there are at least 25 clear days between the date of the marriage as shown on the schedule and the date on which the notice to marry was published 

(b)          once they have received and checked all the original documents that the couple are required to provide

(c)           once they checked the signatures on the marriage notice and declaration of freedom to marry form against those on the signature verifier form signed in front of the SR

(d)          once they have received the necessary payment (See fees schedule)

(e)          once they have confirmed, in accordance with the requirements of the quadruple lock that, where the authorised individual is an authorised religious official, that authorised religious official has consented to marry same-sex couples or has consent to marry any couple at a location approved for both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples.

 

  1. Prior to determining whether to issue the marriage schedule the SR must take into account any written objections that the SR has received in relation to its issue (written objections include objections submitted by electronic means). This related to Art 9 of the 2001 law.

 

  1. By issuing the marriage schedule the SR is authorising the authorised individual to solemnise the marriage. This authorised individual is not however, obliged to do so in the event that they believe that there are valid reasons not to do so. Where they do so solemnize the marriage, they must do so in accordance with the law.

 

  1. The marriage schedule and register entry form should include the following information:

 

(a)          Sub-heading - referencing the Parish (e.g.: Marriage solemnized in the Parish of (name) in the island of Jersey)

 

(b)          Statement from the SR - confirming that the parties to the marriage (forenames and surnames) have given notice of their intention to marriage, that the notice has been displayed in accordance with the law, and that have both parties have signed a solemn declaration that there is no impediment to their marriage. To include space for SR to sign and date form.

 

(c)           Details for both parties to the marriage -

  1. Forenames/Surname
  2. Date of birth and place of birth
  3. Civil status
  4. Sex
  5. Usual place of residence at the time of the marriage
  6. Father’s/Parent’s forename(s) and surname(s)
  7. Mother’s/Parent’s forename(s) and surname(s)

 

(d)          Details of marriage

  1. Date and place of marriage
  2. This marriage was solemnised between us (Space for parties to print name, sign and date)
  3. In the presence of (space for 2 witness to print name, sign and date)
  4. Certification by the authorised individual that they celebrated the marriage (space for date, time and signature)

 

  1. The law should clarify that a person is married on the signing of the schedule by both parties to the marriage and the authorised individual, as opposed to the speaking of the vows (as per Conversion instructions).  This is to allow for the authorised individual to verify that the parties are the same people as per the signature verifier as issued by the SR.

 

  1. The law must therefore require the authorised individual to verify the parties’ signatures prior to the celebrant signing the schedule.

 

  1. In addition to marriage schedule and registry entry document, the SR will also issue to the authorised individual solemnizing the marriage.

(a)          2 x marriage certificate

(b)          1 x display of details of wedding

(c)           1 x signature verifier so that authorised individual can verify signature and image

 

 

Marriage certificate

  1. The marriage certificate should include the following information:

 

(a)          Forenames/Surnames of each of the parties to the wedding

(b)          Date of birth and place of birth

(c)           Usual place of residence

(d)          Father’s/Parent’s forename(s) and surname(s)

(e)          Mother’s/Parent’s forename(s) and surname(s)

(f)            Date and place at which marriage was solemnized

(g)          Civil status of parties

(h)          Sex

(i)             Space for parties and witnesses to print name, sign and date

(j)             Space for authorised individual to print name, sign and date and time.

 

  1. The authorised individual will give the signed marriage certificates to the parties of the marriage.


 

 

Note: Details relating to time

 

The schedule and certificate will include the location and date of wedding as “filled in” by the SR prior to the issuing of the forms. There is a space against the celebrant signature for them to also include the time at which they signed – this being the point at which the marriages is solemnized.

 

 

Note: Use of paper

 

In recognition of the fact that schedules and certificates will no longer be hand written by registrars, they will instead by printed on heavy weight paper which will include, as a watermark, the crest of the relevant parish.

 

 

 

 

Display of details of wedding

 

  1. The display of details of wedding should include the following information:

(a)          Forenames/Surnames of both parties to the marriage

(b)          Time, date and place of marriage

 

  1. The law should require the authorised individual to ensure that the details of wedding are displayed at the location at which the wedding is to take place (the authorised individual can instruct the location’s responsible person to do this, but they must ensure that it has been done). This should be a least 1 hour before the time of wedding and throughout the ceremony

 

  1. As per emergency and special circumstances instructions, the location can only be changed in very limited circumstances within the 25 clear day notice period. In the event that the location is changed, the celebrant must ensure that details of the wedding are display at the previously agreed location showing the change of location, as well as the new location.

 

 

The marriage ceremony (Art 17 and 20 of 2001 Law)

  1. Articles 17 and 20 of the 2001 Law set out requirements relating to the solemnization of marriage in registered building and approved premises. For the purposes of the updated law there will not be any differences in those requirements given that - as per the separate instructions - the concept of registered building and approved premises is to be replaced with approved locations.

 

  1. The marriage must be solemnized:

(a)          between 8am and 7pm (except in emergency or special circumstances)

(b)          in the presence of two or more witnesses

 

  1. The Minister may, by Order, vary the hours between which a marriage is solemnize.

 

  1. Members of the public must be permitted to freely attend (except for where, in accordance with emergency and special circumstances instructions, there are exemptions to the location being open to the public.

 

  1. Each of the parties to the marriage must make a declaration in some part of the ceremony and in the presence of the witnesses and the authorised individual. The declaration should be broadly the same as that set out Art 17 (4) (a) and (b) of the 2001 Law except that it must allow for the parties to the marriage to refer to each other as spouses, as opposed to just husband and wife:

“I solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful reason why I, AB, may not be joined in marriage to CD”; and

“I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, AB, take you, CD, to be my lawful wedded wife [or husband] [spouse]”.

 

  1. That declaration must be used in all marriages except those solemnized in accordance with the rites of the Anglican Church, although the law should provide that the States may, be Regulations, amend requirements relating to the declaration in relation to different non-Anglican religious denominations.

 

  1. The law should also provide that, where an application is received in relation to approval of a place of public religious worship for the solemnization of marriage, the applicant must provide a part of the application provide a copy of the marriage service to be used at that place of public religious worship.

 

  1. Each of the parties to the marriage, the authorised individual and the witnesses must sign the marriage schedule and certificates.

 

  1. The marriage certificates will be retained by the couple.  The marriage schedule will be retained by the authorised individual who will provided to the SR as soon as reasonability practicable.

 

Note: Timeframe relating to provision of marriage schedules

Art 5 of the 2002 Order sets out 72 hour deadlines with regard to return of signed marriage returns to registrars and to the owners/trustees of registered buildings.

 

It is not felt necessary to include a timeframe either within the primary law or secondary legislation as this such be a matter for the SR to determine in day-to-day operating processes. In addition, timeframes are made relatively obsolete in relation to process matters due to the increased use of IT.

 

  1. There is no requirement for Parish Registrar to be present at the ceremony.
  2. As per the separate instructions relating to the content of civil weddings and civil partnerships, Art 20 (5) should be amended to remove the current restrictions on religious service.

 

  1. The law must provide that the SR, on receipt of signed marriage schedule from the authorised individual:

(a)          updates the SR records and holds a copy of the signed schedule;

(b)          issues the original signed marriage schedule to the Registrar of the Parish in which the marriage was solemnized, as soon as is reasonably practical to do so.

 

  1. The SR shall, on a quarterly basis, pay or arrange for the Parish Registrar to be paid the specified sum for each signed marriage schedule placed in the Parish marriage register. This sum will be specified by the Minister by Order.

 

  1. The Parish Registrar must place the signed copy of the marriage schedule into the Parish Marriage Register as soon as is reasonably practical to do so. Every entry in the Marriage Register must be in consecutive date order from the beginning to the end of the register.

 

 

  1. From the point at which the SR’s records have been updated the SR can issue certificated copies of the marriage certificate when request to do so and on receipt of the required fee. This is in addition the Parish Registrar also being able to issue certified copies. The details of the certified copy do not need to be set out in law.

 

 

Timeframes relating to the process of marriage

  1. Whilst the law sets out the timeframes associated with the solemnization of marriage, the law must also provide for the any of these timeframes to be amended via secondary legislation.

 

  1. In the event that any of the timeframes set out in law are not complied with the marriage should not be automatically taken to be void, although the fact that the matters did not proceed in accordance with the timeframes should be taken into considering in when determining if the marriage is void. (For example, a marriage is not automatically void, if the notice to marriage was not in the public domain for at least 25 clear days)

 

Renewal of vows ceremonies

 

  1. The amendment law should allow for the Minister to prescribe by Order the fees to be charged by the Superintendent Registrar in relation to renewal of vows ceremonies. The renewal of vows is a ceremonial process only, it has no legal standing and does not require one, except for relation to allowing the charging of fees. The fees will be in relation to:

a)             the SR officiating at the renewal ceremony, and/or

b)             use of the SR’s premises.

 

 

Marriage of persons incapacitated by illness (Art 21)

  1. See above and more detail instructions on emergency and special circumstances marriages.

 

 

Keeping and searching of book, registers and returns relating to marriage (Art 22, Art 78 and Art 79 for 2001 Law, plus Art 9 of 2002 Order)

 

 

  1. Art 22 of the 2001 law sets out the requirements placed on the SR to keep books and registers. Art 78 deals with matters relating to searches of registers and indexes. The law should be amended to provide clarity with regard to public access to books, records and indexes and charges associated with search.

 

Note: Terminology

 

For the purposes of clarification, it is understood that:

  • a register is a record of an event that has occurred (e.g.: the marriage did take place) or of something that has been confirmed (e.g.: a register of approval locations)
  • a book is a record of some information that has been captured or retained but has not necessary occurred or is not necessarily verified (e.g.: a notice to marry book)
  • a return is a copy of the information held in a register of marriage, a register of marriage conversion or a register of civil partnership; those registers being held by Parish Registrars or Anglican incumbent who make the return, on a quarterly basis, to the SR.
  • an index is a list of the names of parties to a marriage, a marriage conversion or civil partnership, that are set out in a return or register, that return or register having been made by an Anglican incumbent or a Parish Registrar on a quarterly basis.

 

 

  1. The law should set out that the SR is required to:

(a)          keep a notice to marry book

(b)          keep a register of approved locations (as opposed to a register of buildings)

(c)           keep a register of authorised civil celebrants and authorised religious officials (the register of authorised religious officials must set out the relevant religious denomination)

(d)          keep an index of the names of the parties to any marriage or civil partnership registered in Jersey

(e)          a copy of the marriage registers held by Parish Registrars or Anglican incumbents (this copy register including information provided as part of quarterly returns plus copies of the signed marriage schedule held by the SR before issuing the original signed marriage schedule to the Parish Register)

(f)            a copy of the civil partnership registers held by Parish Registrars

(g)          a copy of the marriage conversion register held by Parish Registrars (this copy register including copies of the signed conversion declaration held by the SR before issuing the original signed conversion declaration to the Parish Register)

 

  1. There is a requirement that these books, registers and indexes should be open to public inspection free of charge during working hours. (Note: as per the proposed amendments to Art 44, the law should not set that where this needs to be or that the SR office needs to be in the same place)

 

  1. The SR is not required to provide an extract or copy of:

a)             the notice to marry book or

b)             the register of approved locations or

c)             the register of authorised civil celebrants or religious officials or

d)             a copy of an index

albeit, once they are on-line, members of the public will be able to download and print their own copies.

 

  1. The SR is, however, obliged to provide in exchange for a fee (to be set out by Order):

a)             a certified copy of an entry into the register of marriage conversion

b)             a certified copy of an entry into register of civil partnerships

c)             a certified copy of an entry into a marriage register

d)             a certified copy of an entry into a marriage conversion register.

 

  1. The law should also provide that:

a)             the Parish Registrar is required to keep a registrar of marriages that took place in the Parish (the Parish Marriage Register). Under the amended law this will include the signed marriage schedules as forwarded to the Parish Registrar by the SR, and

b)             the incumbent of an Anglican church is required to a keep a register of Anglican marriages solemnized in the Parish.

 

  1. Article 8 and 9 of the 2002 Order sets out various requirements in relation to the making of quarterly returns to the SR and the keeping of duplicate registers. These articles will need to be amended so that the law sets out that:

 

a)             the incumbent of an Anglican Church to is required to:

  1. keep two copies of their Anglican Marriage Register and
  2. make quarterly return to the SR of all the marriage registered in their Anglican marriage register during that quarter. The return must be in form required by the SR and the incumbent must sign it to certify that the return it a true and accurate record of marriages registered during the quarter. It should also set out if no marriages were registered during the quarter.

 

b)             the Parish Registrar is no longer required to make a quarterly return in relation to marriage and marriage conversions registered in the Parish Register as, under the amended law, the SR will have a copy of all entries into the Parish Marriage and Marriage Conversion Registers, having issued the signed schedules to the Parish Registrar of inclusion in that Register. (NOTE: The Parish Registrar is, however, still required to make a quarterly return in relation to birth, still births, death and civil partnerships)

 

c)             Entry of names into the index: The SR will keep the returns made by the Anglican incumbent and enter into the index the names of people who have married in Jersey as set out on these returns.

 

d)             Payment: The SR shall pay, or cause to be paid, to every Parish Registrar or Anglican incumbent any sums that may be due in relation to the holding of registrars and/or the provision of returns or registers to the SR. Those fees, and the associated timeframe for payments, will be specified by Order.

 

  1. As per Art 9 (1) of the 2002 Order, any person required to keep a register or other documents under the law is required on ceasing office to deliver them to their successor.

 

  1. Art 78 deals with matters relating to searches of registers and indexes.

 

  1. The requirement on every registrar (whether a Parish Registrar or an Anglican incumbent who keeps a register) to allow public access to registers remains as per Art 78 (1), however, there are changes with regard to the requirement to provide a certified copy:

a)      an Anglican incumbent may provide a certified copy of an entry into the marriage register in return for a fee, in the prescribed form

b)      a Parish Registrar can may provide a certified copy of an entry into a register of marriage, marriage conversion, civil partnership, births, still birth or death. The fee for so doing and the prescribed form will be set out in an Order

 

  1. SR from the copy of the birth and death registers where they are held by the Office of the SR.

 

  1. The statement that a copy of an entry provided in accordance with the law is evidence of birth, still birth, death or marriage also remain (Art 78 (3).

 

  1. The requirements in relation to corrections of errors in books and registers as set out in Art 79 of the 2001 Law remain with no changes, except that where a correction is made to a book or register, the SR shall also amend the SR’s records accordingly.

 


  1. Who keeps what?

 

SR

Parish Registrar

Anglican incumbent

a notice to marry book

Yes

-

-

a register of marriages

Yes

 

Prior to the amendments set out above:

-       the quarterly returns provided to the SR by Parish Registrar and

-       the quarterly Anglican incumbent

 

are of copy of the registers held by Parish Registrar or Anglican incumbent

 

Post the amendments set out above:

-       the copy of the signed marriage schedule held by the SR, and

-       the quarterly return made by the Anglican incumbent;

 

are a copy of the registers held by Parish Registrar or Anglican incumbent.

Yes

Yes x 2

a register of marriage conversion

Yes

 

Post the amendments set out above the copies of the signed conversion declaration held by the SR form a copy of the registers held by Parish Registrar.

Yes

Yes (if in accordance with the quadruple lock)

a register of civil partnerships

Yes.

 

The quarterly return provided to SR by the Parish Registrar are a copy of the register held by Parish Registrar

Yes

-

a register of approved locations (as opposed to a register of buildings)

Yes

-

-

a register of authorised civil celebrants and authorised religious officials (the register of authorised religious officials must set out the relevant religious denomination)

Yes

-

-

an index of the names of the parties to any marriage or civil partnership registered in Jersey.

Yes

-

-

 

  1. Who will be able to issue certified copies?

 

SR

Parish Registrar

Anglican incumbent

Certified copy on an entry into the marriage register

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

Certified copy on an entry into the marriage conversion register

Yes

Yes

Yes (if undertake marriage conversion in accordance with the quadruple lock

Certified copy on an entry into the civil partnership register

Yes

Yes

-

Entries in the birth and still births register

Yes

Yes

-

Entries into the death register

Yes

Yes

-

 

  1. Who will need to provide a quarterly return to the SR?

 

Information on quarterly return

Parish Registrar

 

-       civil partnership register

-       births register

-       still birth

-       deaths register

Anglican incumbent

 

-       marriage register

-       marriage conversion register in the event that the Anglican Church, in accordance with the quadruple lock, agreed to

 

 

 

Note: Retention of Records.

 

The amended Law does not need to contain provisions requiring the SR to have a retention schedule as this is dealt with under the Public Records (Jersey) Law 2002.

 

The 2002 Law sets out requirements in relation to the retention of public records and applies to any public institution, which includes the SR.

 

The 2002 Law provides a framework of provisions under which the States Archivist appraises public records and surveys the disposal of those records in conjunction with the public records officer of each public institution.

 

The public records officer is the person prescribed by Order or, if no such person, the chief officer or other person who has charge of the day-to-day running of the institution. As it stands at the moment, there is no Order relating to the SR but it is understood that the SR, as the person who has charge of the running of the institution is the public records officer.

 

 


Proof of matters not necessary to the validity of marriage (Art 23) and Marriages that are void (Art 24)

  1. Art 23 of the 2001 law sets out that certain “proofs” will not be required in relation to supporting the validity of a marriage which has already been solemnized (i.e. once the marriage has been solemnized these “proofs” cannot be used to challenge the validity of that marriage). It is understood that the intent behind Art 23 is to ensure that, if a is marriage solemnized in accordance with the marriage schedule issued by the SR, that marriage will be valid even if:

(a)          the SR issued a marriage schedule after having been provided with information or evidence which was in accurate or incomplete (providing, as set out below, that the parties to the marriage did not knowingly or intentionally provided inaccurate or incomplete information or allow for it to be provided) or

(b)          the SR issued a marriage schedule which was inaccurate in that it provided, for example:

  1. permission to get married in a location which was not an approved location or which did not have the appropriate approvals in place (for example; approval for a civil marriage to take place in a location approved just for religious marriage; a same-sex marriage to take place in location which was not approved for same-sex marriage); a marriage in accordance with the rites of the Anglican church to take place in a location approved only for Jewish marriage etc.)
  2. permission to be married by a person who was not an authorised individual or, in the event of a same-sex couple, permission to be married by a celebrant which was not in accordance with the quadruple lock

(c)           that the SR did not ensure that all appropriate consents in relation to marriage of a minor where in place.

 

Note: Reference to ‘intermarry’

 

Article 4 of the 2001 Law makes reference to ‘intermarry’ as opposed to marry. This appears to be an anomaly carried-over from the 1949 Act as ‘intermarry’ as the term is not defined and is not used in any other context in the Act.

 

 

 

  1. Art 24 of the 2001 Law, in contrast to Art 23 sets out the circumstances in which a marriage will be void.  Art 24 needs to be amended to provide that a marriage shall be void if any persons knowingly or intentionally marrying (as opposed to intermarrying) in the following circumstances: 

(a)          without giving due notice

(b)          having provided, or knowingly allowed to be provided, supporting evidence or information which was false or incorrect

(c)           without having the correct visa in place (note: this would not include if they had been incorrectly issues a visa but would include, if for example, they provide a forged or fake visa)

(d)          if the SR did not give permission for the solemnization of a marriage as signified by the issuing of the marriage schedule (as opposed to the issuing of a license)

(e)          if the parties to the marriage knew that the marriage was not being solemnized in accordance with the marriage schedule (i.e. the celebrant[1], location, date etc. are not as set out on the schedule)

(f)            if the notice or the marriage schedule were not valid because they did not accord with the time restrictions prescribed in law

Section 3: Instructions relating to the registration service (Arts 41 to 48 of 2001 Law)

Superintendent Registrar

  1. Art 41 (1) needs amending to remove the requirement for the Minister to appoint the SR and Deputies and for the Chief Minister to approve that appointment. The SR and Deputies will be appointed by the States of Jersey in accordance with standard HR processes.

Parish registrars’ appointment

The 2001 law needs to be amended in order to provide more clarity around the processes relating to the appointment and removal of Parish Registrars and their deputies. These changes include:

  1. the Parish Assembly should choose a Parish Registrar and that Parish Register should choose deputy registrars against an agreed role description and person specification, as developed by the SR (Art 42(1) and (2))

 

  1. Art 42 (2) (a) the requirement placed on the Constable of St Helier to get approval from the Parish Assembly for appointment of the Registrar should be removed. Art 42 (2) (b) also needs to be amended; it is the Constable, not the Parish Registrar who should appoint the Deputies. This is because they are employees of the Parish.

Parish Registers complaints investigation and removal from post

  1. Art 42 (8) sets that a registrar/deputy registrar, other than in the Parish of St Helier, may be required to vacate their office with immediate effect, if they have failed to carry out, or are incapable of carrying out their duties.  The article does not, however:

(a)          state who will require them to vacate their office (i.e. the Parish Assembly or the Constable?) nor,

(b)          does it make explicit the fact that they will be required to vacate their office if they do not comply with law, particularly with regard to matters relating to discrimination and the introduction of same-sex marriage.

The amended law should therefore provide for the introduction of a process for investigating complaints against Parish Registrars, clarity over who requires them to vacate their office, plus and associated appeals process.

 

Note: Discrimination in relation to same-sex marriage

The “quadruple lock” will set out that no religious official can be compelled to solemnize marriage between a same-sex couple. No element of that “quadruple lock” applies to any other official involved in the process of marriage solemnization and registration (i.e. a Parish Registrar is required to comply with the law and is required to register civil partnership, same-sex marriages and births where the parents are same-sex couples).

 

 

  1. The law should provide that the SR should be responsible for investigating complaints received about parish registrars (and deputies) regardless of whether those complaints were:

a)             made directly to the SR or to the Constable of the Parish, or

b)             in the event that the SR has reasonable grounds to believe that the Parish Registrar may not be acting in accordance with the Law or may be failing to carry out their duties.

 

  1. The responsibility to investigate complaints about Parish Registrars includes in relation to the St Helier Registrars. As employees of the Parish of St Helier however:

a)             the Parish, as their employer, may also determine that it is appropriate to undertake an investigation in the same way that the Parish would with relation to other employees of the Parish;

b)             any appeal that the Registrar wishes to make against the decision of the Parish to remove the Registrar from office would be in accordance with the Parish’s terms and condition of employment as opposed to via the appeals process set out below. 

 

  1. That investigation should be undertaken in consultation with the relevant Constable and the SR must report the findings of that investigation to relevant the Constable and to the Registrar.

 

  1. In reporting back, the SR should make a recommendation to the Constable as to action to be taken and grounds for the action. This could include;

 

a)             Grounds to remove the Parish Registrar based on matters such as

  1. failure to comply with the law, including behaving in a discriminatory manner
  2. failure to provide a good service
  3. failure to carry out duties
  4. is incapacitated by illness; or
  5. is otherwise unable or unfit to discharge the functions of the Parish Registrar

b)             No grounds for removal;

c)             grounds for a formal warning to the issued the Parish Registrar (where necessary the Registrar will be offered additional training)

 

  1. The law should then provide for the Constable to be able to remove the Registrar if the Constable believes there are grounds to do so. The Constable does not require permission or approval of the Parish Assembly to do so (this is in order to allow the Constable to take action in a short timeframe if that is required).

 

 

  1. The same investigation and appeals processes applies in relation to deputy Parish Registrars.

Note: Appeal against the decision of the Constable

 

Consideration was given as to whether there should be a statutory appeals process against the decision of the Constable to remove a Parish Register, on reflection however, and in consultation with Law Officers, it has been determined that this is not necessary, for the following reasons:

 

  1. the nature of the position

The role of Parish Registrar and Deputy Parish Registrar (excluding those roles in the Parish of St Helier) is a voluntary public office. Removal from post does carry any obvious and significant pecuniary implications nor does not impinge on any other civil right of the registrar. Whether a Registrar should be removed is a matter of parochial administration and, in the round, it is felt right for the Constable, who has the power to remove under legislation, to have the final say.

 

  1. the legal process for their removal

The amended Law will set out a detailed process for the removal of Parish Registrars and Deputy Registrars, involving an investigation of a complaint by the SR and recommendations to the Constable. The Law stipulates a number of grounds on which a registrar may be removed or the option of issuing a formal warning.

Given that process is rigorous, is based on clear statutory grounds and has two ‘enforcement’ options, formal warning or removal, it not felt that statutory appeal right is warranted. This does not, however, preclude the registrar from apply for judicial review.

 

From a ECHR perspective, Article 6 is applicable in civil proceedings where there is a genuine and serious dispute as to a civil right. In the context of the removal of a registrar from a voluntary position, there is no determination of a ‘civil right’: the position is voluntary and there is no expectation or right for the registrar to be able to carry on in that role. Moreover, the removal of the registrar does not impinge on any right of the registrar, for example it does not affect that person’s ability to continue in a specific career and carries no significant pecuniary consequences for that person (as would a decision to remove a paid employee from post). For these reasons, Article 6 ECHR is not applicable to the process and the fair trial guarantees are not relevant.

 

 

  1. The Law should also provide that where the post of Parish Registrar is vacant in any Parish, for whatever reasons, and where there is no Deputy Parish Registrar the SR can:

a)             act as the Parish Registrar during the period of the vacancy or,

b)             in consultation with the relevant Constables appoint, on a temporary basis, the Parish Registrar of the different Parish to also act in the Parish where there is a vacancy.

The purpose of this provision is to allow for the Parish Registration service to continue in relation to the registration of births, deaths and marriages in the event of a vacancy, particularly, for example, in relation to emergency circumstances such as pandemic.

Other matters relating to the registration service

  1. The amended law, must therefore, provide the SR all the relevant powers to act as Parish Register in the event they are required to. This relates to the registration of births, still births, deaths, civil partnerships, marriage and marriage conversion.

 

  1. Art 44 should be amended to:

a)             remove the requirement for the SR office to be in a central part of St Helier

b)             remove the requirement to provide a premises where marriage and civil partnership may be solemnized. This is to allow greater flexibility in the event that it determined that commercial locations should be used

c)             maintain the general requirement on the States to make provision for the safe keeping of documents and records that the SR must maintain under the law, but not specifically set out the States must provide an office for the SR to keep and maintain these records. This is in the event that it is determined that, at the point the SR can access records electronically, the SR records should be located elsewhere, for example: Jersey Archive

 

  1. The amended law should allow for the Minister to provide for fees which must be paid by couples who are getting married in the SR office or premises, in the event that an office or premises is maintained for the solemnization of marriages.

 

  1. Art 47 sets out requirements in relation to the provision of registers, forms and certificates. The law needs to sufficiently flexible to allow for different provision in relation to parish registrars and Anglican churches, and it also needs to allow for future potential changes to the process of registration of marriage in the Anglican Church. This includes:

 

(a)          SR shall supply to Registrars and incumbents of Anglican churches any books, registers and official documents relating to the registration of marriage, including in electronic form that may be required. (note: whilst these instructions do not relation to registration of births, stillbirths and deaths similar provisions will be required)

(b)          As per Art 19 of the 2002 Order:

  1. where these are in paper form, they shall be of a durable material
  2. the information required to be known shall be clearly set out on a single page whether this is in paper form or electronic (note; the requirement for each side of every paper page to printed on should be removed as this does not support the future scanning/coping of paper registers and books)
  3. every page and every place of entry shall be numbered progressively and every entry shall be clearly divided by a line

 

Registration of marriages (Art 69 to 75 for 2001 Law)

 

  1. As set out in Section 1 above, there are signification changes to the processes that relate to the solemnization and registration of marriages. Arts 69 to 75 need to be amended to reflect this.

 

  1. Where a marriage is solemnized in an Anglican Church by a clergyman, the particulars of the marriage must be registered in that Parish, in the register provided by the SR.

 

  1. If the marriage is solemnized on authority of a Special License issued by the Dean, the marriage will be registered in the register of the Anglican Church in the Parish in which the marriage took place (even though the clergyman solemnizing the marriage may be from a different Parish).

 

  1. Article 7 of the 2002 Order sets out matters relating to the registration of marriage in an Anglican Church. It references Part 2, schedule 2 of the 2002 Order which sets out the form of an entry into the marriage register. Once the law is amended Part 2, schedule 2 will only relate to the marriage registers held by the Anglican Church (as the entries into the Parish marriage registers will be the signed marriage schedule).  The amended law should:

a)             retain the requirement to set out the particulars of the marriage in two marriage registers both of which are held by the Anglican church

b)             be amended to specify that the Anglican incumbent is required to provide details of the marriage as recorded in the register on a quarterly basis to the SR.

 

  1. The following matters set out in Article 7 of the 2002 Order remain:

a)             The requirement for the entries to be signed by the clergyman, the parties to the marriage and two witnesses

b)             The requirement for the entries to be made in consecutive date order and the number of the entry to be the same in the duplicate register.

 

  1. Where a marriage is solemnized by an authorised individual, a record of the particulars of that marriage must be held by the Registrar of the Parish in which the marriage was solemnized. This record takes the form of the signed Marriage Schedule and Registrar entry form that the SR has a duty to provide to the Registrar after the marriage has been solemnized. This includes where the marriage was solemnized in an approved location or in accordance with the emergency and special circumstances arrangements.  This applied to both the standard marriage procedure and the emergency marriage procedure.

 

 

 

Note: Registration of Anglican marriages

 

Anglican Church is responsible in law for the registration of all marriages conducted by Anglican Minister. The Anglican Minister must make a return to the SR on a quarterly basis. The SR keeps a record of the return in the form of an index which must be available for publish inspection.

 

The Anglican Church is currently undertaking a review of the ways in which it registers marriages. The outcome of this review is not yet known. At this stage it is therefore proposed that there are no changes in Law with regard to the registration of Amical marriage, expect for where it is considered appropriate to do so too allow future flexibility. 

 

As per Art 74, the Minister requires powers by Order to specify procedures and requirements in relation in to making of returns from Parish Registrars or the Anglican Church. This power should be provided for by Order, as opposed to in primary legislation, in order to allow for changes to be readily made in the event that the Anglican Church brings forward changes to its registration process.

 

 

 

  1. Art 71 needs to be amended. It is the duty of the SR, not the parties to the marriage, to provide details of the marriage to the Registrar in order that the record of the marriage may be entered into the Parish Registrar.

 

  1. Art 72 relates to registration of birth and deaths so is not relevant.

 

  1. Art 73 requires no amendment.

 

  1. As per Art 74, the Minister requires powers by Order to specify procedures and requirements in relation to the registration of marriages, and for the making of returns. Requirements to make returns, either by the Parish Registrars or the Anglican Church should be provided for by Order, as opposed to in primary legislation, this is to allow for changes to be readily made in the event that the Anglican Church brings forward changes to its registration process.

 

  1. Given that the Parish Registrar will be holding a record of marriage in the form of signed marriage schedules and register entry forms, consideration needs to be given as to whether this is a “making of any entry” (a matter of language for consideration by law draftsman)

 

  1. Art 75: Needs to be amended to include registration of marriage conversions.

 

 

 

Offences relating to solemnization of marriage (Art 76 of 2001 Law0

 

  1. Reference to licence needs to be changed to marriage schedule. Reference to certificate needs to make clear that it is a CONI.

 

  1. Art 76 (1) and (2) no amendments expect in relation to terminology (licence and certificate).

 

  1. Art 76 (3) sets out offences in relation to the SR. It needs to be amended so that it is an offence for the SR to issue a marriage schedule:

(a)          authorising an authorised civil celebrant to solemnize a marriage in a location approved only for religious wedding

(b)          authorising a religious official to solemnize a marriage in a location other than one which is approved for civil marriage or solmization in accordance with their faith (i.e. a Methodist Minister cannot solemnize a marriage in a location authorised just for Jewish worship, unless it was the express intent of the owner, trustee, or the lease holder to permit that to happen, as per authorised persons’ instructions);

(c)           authorising the solemnization of marriage between a same-sex couple in a location which is not approved for same-sex marriage

(d)          authorising a religious official to solemnize a marriage between a same-sex couple unless it is in accordance with the quadruple lock.

 

  1. In addition, 76 (3) (a) need to refer to the amended timeframes i.e.:

a)            a notice of marriage is void 12 months after notice is given

b)            the SR cannot issue a schedule unless the SR is satisfied that there are at least 25 clear days between the date of the marriage as shown on the schedule and the date on which the notice to marry was published

c)             the SR cannot issue a CONI unless the SR is satisfied that there are at least 25 clear days between the date on which the notice to marry was published and the date on which the CONI was issued.

 

  1. Art 76 (3) (c) states that it is an offence for SR to register a void marriage given that the SR cannot register any marriage. Whilst under the 2001 Law the SR cannot register a marry, this article should remain in order to cover any occasion where they are acting as the Parish Register.

 

  1. Art 76 (4) and 76 (5) do not need amending, except in relation to using the term schedule as opposed to licence.

 

  1. Art 76 (6) (b) needs to be amended to make reference to an approved location – as opposed to registered building/approved premises (i.e. it is an offence for a person to solemnize a marriage under a schedule issued by the SR other than in approved location or in emergency/special circumstances location as specified on the notice to marriage and the schedule to marriage).

 

  1. Art 76 (7) needs to removed. It is not an offence for an authorised individual to solemnize a marriage without the presence of a registrar. 

 

  1. Art 76 (8) needs to be amended to state that it an offence for any person to solemnize a marriage other than:

(a)          an authorised individual (civil and religious) under a schedule issued by the SR

(b)          any person authorised to do so by licence of the Dean (special or ordinary licence)

 

In addition, it will be an offence for them to solemnize at marriage at a location other than that specified on the schedule or the Dean’s licence

 

  1. It is not clear why Art 76 (9) is needed given that, as set about above, it is an offence for any person to solemnize any marriage at any location, except in accordance with the SR schedule or Dean’s licence. It should therefore be removed.

 

  1. Art 76 (10) remains the same in relation of level of fine or period of imprisonment.

 

 

Offences relating to registration (Art 77 of 2001 Law)

 

  1. No amendments required

 

Search (Art 78 2001 Law)

 

  1. See information on Art 22 above.

 

 

Corrections (Art 79, 2001 Law)

  1. Dealt with above in keeping of registers section (Art 22)

 

Witness (Art 80, 2001 Law)

  1. No changes expect that, as set out above, a witness cannot also be a representative signing on behalf of a party of the marriage.

 

 


Section 4: Instructions relating to the Marriage and Civil Status Order 2002

The amendments to the 2001 Law as set out in these instructions require significant changes to the parts of the 2002 Order that relate to marriage matters.

 

  1. Article 2 of 2002 Order

a)             Art 2 (1): proposed changes to the marriage notice (set out in Part 1 of the Order) are set out in Section 2, Applying to give Notice of Marriage (civil and non-Anglican religious marriage) above.

b)             Art 2 (2): the declaration set out in Part 2 of the Order needs to be replaced with a freedom to marry declaration that relates to both Art 8 (5) (b) and Art 11 (2)) of the 2001 Law. See Section 2, Freedom to marry declaration above.

c)             Art 2 (3): The licence set out in Part 3 of the 2002 Order shall be replaced with a single marriage schedule and registry entry. See Section 2, Marriage schedule and register entry above

d)             Art 2 (4): the certificate for the solmization of marriage outside Jersey, as set out in Part 4 of the schedule, needs to be known as a Certificate of no impediment. See Section 2, CONI/no trace letters for marriages taking place in Jersey above

e)             Art 2 (5): This refers to the medical statement to be issued in relation to Art 21 (2) of the 2001 law. As per the instructions relating to Arrangements relating to emergency and special circumstances marriage, a statement is now required from an appropriate authority in relation to:

  • emergency marriage
  • changes to marriage in relation to unforeseen circumstances
  • marriage in special circumstances

 

It is set out in the associated instructions that the contents of the statement should be as per guidance issued by the SR, as opposed to set out in an Order.

 

  1. Article 3 of the 2002 Order refers to preparation of the marriage returns by the Parish Registrar. This is no longer required as the Parish Registrar no longer needs to prepare a return. The SR will, instead, prepare a marriage schedule.

 

  1. Article 4 of the 2002 Order refers to the completion of marriage returns by the person solemnizing the marriage. As set out above, the reference to returns is now obsolete as there is now a marriage schedule. The requirements relating to the signing of the schedule during the marriage ceremony are set out in Section 2, The marriage ceremony above.

 

  1. Article 5 of the 2002 Order can also be removed, as the updated arrangements are set out in Section 2, The marriage ceremony above.

 

  1. Article 6 of the 2002 relates to registration of civil marriage or a non-Anglican religious marriage, where that marriage must be registered by the Parish Registrar. The Parish Marriage Register will include the signed marriage schedules as opposed to the form as set out in Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the 2002 Order.

 

  1. Article 7 of the 2002 Order relates to the registration of marriage in an Anglican Church. The required changes to this Article and to the register entry form set out in Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the 2002 Order are set out Section 3, Registration of marriages above.

 

  1. Article 8 of the 2002 Order sets out requirements in relation to quarterly returns to the SR. The amendments to Article 8 are set out in Section 2, Keeping and searching of book, registers and returns relating to marriage above (Keeping and searching of book, registers and returns relating to marriage)

 

  1. Articles 10 to 15 relates to birth, still births and deaths so no amendments are required

 

  1. Article 16; no amendments required

 

  1. Article 17 relates to birth, still births and deaths, so no amendments are required

 

  1. Article 18 relates to corrections in a register; not amendment required.

 

  1. Matters relating to Article 19 are set out in Section 3, Other matters relating to the registration service above.

 

  1. Article 20 relates to the fees schedule set out in Schedule 6 of the 2002 Order. This fee schedule will be revised.

 

 


Chapter 3: Restrictions on marriage

 

Section 1: Introduction

 

  1. This Chapter sets out the instructions to the Law Draftsman to amend the Restrictions on Marriage as set in Part 1 amend the Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law 2001. These changes are necessitated by the introduction of same-sex marriage.

 

 

Section 2: Instructions relating to restrictions on age of marriage

 

Background

In June 2016, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in their fifth periodic review of the UK’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which is extended to Jersey, recommended that:

 

the State party raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 years across all devolved administrations, Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies”.

 

The basis for this recommendation is that under the UNCRC everyone below the age of 18 is a child and that there would be concerns about any system which potentially allowed for the forced marriage of girls and boys aged 16 -17 years old. Whilst it acknowledged that forced marriage is not necessarily an immediate issue within our resident community, it needs to be recognised that our marriage legislation permits marriage in Jersey by people who do not live in Jersey, hence there is a potential for our law to be exploited in relation to force marriage.

 

A full public consultation would need to be undertaken before any recommendation was brought forward to prohibit marriage between minors (girls and boys aged 16 and 17). In the meantime, given that our primary marriage legislation is subject to change, that primary legislation should be amended to allow the States flexibility to amend the minimum age of marriage in secondary legislation in the event that the State’s determines that it is appropriate do so.

 

 

 

1.             Art 2 (1) (a) of the 2001 law needs to be amended. It needs to continue to state that a marriage is void if, at the time of the marriage, either party is under the age of 16, but should then go on to make provision for the States to amend the minimum age by regulations. In doing so, it must set out that the States may only increase, as opposed to decrease, the minimum age of marriage.

 

2.             In the event that, at some point in the future, the States determine that the minimum age of marriage should be increased, the protections and arrangements set out in currently set out in law in relation to the marriage of a minor would then need to be amended. Assuming that the States were to restrict marriage between minors in all cases, this would likely include the removal of provisions as set out in Articles 6, Schedule 2

 

3.             This would include in relation to: Art 6 (1), Art 9(6) and 9 (7), Art 35 (1) (b) and Schedule 2

 

Note: Amending age of marriage by Regulation

 

Law officers have advised that there is no legal issue with the amended law providing an ability to amend the age of marriage by Regulation. It echoes the provision made in the Adoption (Jersey) Law 1961, which allows the Minister by Order to amend the age at which a child is deemed to have sufficient understanding to give his or her agreement to adoption.

 

 

Note: Marriage of a minor, where that minor is a young offender

 

Art 6 refers to schedule 2 which sets out who must provide consent with regard to the marriage of a minor. This includes the HSSD Minister where there is a care order in place.  This does not need to be amended to include young people who are on remand or sentenced and under the care of HSSD Minister (as per the changes to Criminal Justice (Young Offenders) (No 2) Law) as those changes do not provide the HSSD Minister with parental responsibility for remanded or detained young person.  However, in the event that a detained young person does wish to get married the “special circumstances” procedures (see separate instructions) will apply and the officer with responsibility for the place of secure accommodation will need to provide a supporting statement stating that they do not object to the celebrant attending the place of detention to solemnize the marriage.

 

 

Section 2: Instructions relating to other general restrictions on marriage

 

Background

 

In September 2015 the States Assembly debated P.77/2015 and agreed in principle that the law should be amended to:

  1. allow same-sex couples to get married in Jersey, with appropriate safeguards in place to protect the rights of religious organisations and their officials who do not wish to conduct same-sex marriages; and
  2. allow people in civil partnerships to convert their partnership into marriage.

 

The amendments below remove the restrictions on marriage between same-sex couples and amend the restrictions on marriage between people who are already in a civil partnership.

 

The safeguards to protect the right of religious organisations and their officials to choose not the marry same-sex couples (known as the quadruple lock) are set out the instructions relating the Process of solemnization and registration of marriage.

 

 

4.             Art 2 (1) of the 2001 law needs to be further mended to:

 

(a)          remove the requirement for the parties to the marriage to be male and female

 

(b)          restrict marriage between parties who are already in a civil partnership, unless both partners are in a civil partnership with each other and converting that civil partnership into a marriage (this is in addition to the law already restricting marriage between people who are already married).

 

5.             The amended law should state that marriage of same-sex couples is lawful.

 

6.             Art 2 (2) refers to Article 4 of Loi of 1895. Article 4 in turn, only refers to a sexual offences committed against a female, therefore the reference to wife in Art 2 (2) cannot be extended to include a husband, as female cannot be a husband. In the event that, however, that the Loi of 1895 is amended at some point in future to also covers offences against males, Art 2 (2) should be amended so that it refers to “spouse2 as opposed to “wife”.

 

7.             Art 3 refers to schedule 1 and sets out prohibitions of people of the same descent. In order to recognise that people of the same-sex can get married this needs to be amended to provide that neither a man nor a woman can marry:

(a)          Their mother (or adoptive/former adoptive mother)

(b)          Their father (or adoptive/former adoptive father)

(c)           Their son (or adoptive/former adoptive son)

(d)          Their daughter (or adoptive/former adoptive daughter)

(e)          Grandmother or Grandfather

(f)            Granddaughter or Grandson (or adoptive/former adoptive granddaughter/grandson)

(g)          Sister or brother

(h)          Aunt or uncle

(i)             Niece or Nephew.

 

8.             Similarly, the law needs to provide that neither a man nor a woman can marry:

(a)          their former spouse’s sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters (or adoptive) or

(b)          their father’s or grandfather’s former husband or wife

(c)           their mother’s or grandmother’s former husband or wife.

 

9.             Article 4 (2) of the 2001 law sets out that a marriage between a man or woman’s former spouse and a child or grandchild of that spouse (i.e. their “step” child or grandchild) is not void, providing that both parties to the marriage are aged 18 or over when they marry and providing that the younger spouse was never a child of family at the point at which the older spouse was married to the younger spouse parent of grandparent, as illustrated in the scenario below.

 

Note: Examples in relation to Art 4 (2)

 

Sally and John were married but are now divorced. John had a daughter, Margaret from a previous marriage who lived with Sally and John whilst they were married.

 

Sally and Margaret could get married if the following circumstances applied:

a)      At the point at Sally and John got married, Sally was aged 50 and Margaret was aged 24. Therefore, whilst Margaret lived with Sally and John, she was not a child of their family.

b)      At the point at Sally and John got married, Sally was aged 16 and Margaret was aged 40. Therefore, Sally, who is the younger party to the proposed marriage between Sally and Margaret, was not a child of their family.

Sally and Margaret cannot get married under the following circumstances applied:

c)      Sally and Margaret will on the day of their marriage be aged 24 and aged 18. At the point at Sally and John got married, Sally was aged 20 and Margaret was aged 14. Therefore, Margaret was a child in Sally and John’s family.

 

10.         Consideration was given to amending the law so that marriages would not be void if either party to the marriage was a child (i.e., not just the younger of the two parties to the proposed new marriage) in order to deal with scenarios such as that set out in the example b) above. Example b) provides disquiet because Sally was a minor at the point at which she was living in a family unit with Margaret. It has been determined however, that the law should not be amended because, to do so, would rule all possible marriages between people and their parent’s former spouses. This scenario should however be given due consideration at the point at which a decision is made by the States about whether the age of marriage should be raised to age 18.

 

11.         Art 8 (5) (b) provides for the declaration form, as set out in per Part 2 of the 2002 Order, to be provided in the event that a marriage is proposed between parties who relationship accords with that outlined in Art 4(2). The law should be amended however, so that a single freedom to marry declaration form is provided for which covers both the requirements of Art 8 (5) (b) and Art 11 (2). See chapter 2 - freedom to marry declaration.

 

Caveats against licence or certificate of marriage

 

12.         Art (9) (1) of the 2001 sets out that a person must believe there is a “lawful cause” to obstruct the SR giving permission to marry. This is sufficient to prevent a person entering a caveat in relation to same-sex marriage as there would be no lawful cause to do so, hence no amendments are required.

 


Chapter 4: Increased flexibility over content of civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

 

 

Section 1: Introduction

 

  1. This chapter sets out the instructions to the Law Draftsman to amend the Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law 2001 (the “2001 Law”) and the Civil Partnership (Jersey) Law 2012 (the “2012 Law”) to allow for more flexibility with regard to the content of civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies.

 

  1. The purpose of these changes is to clarify, in law, that couples having a civil marriage or civil partnership ceremony in Jersey can select music or readings of their choice, including those that are ordinarily associated with religious wedding ceremonies. This does not, however, extend to use of rites associated with religious wedding ceremonies.

 

Section 2: Background

 

 

  1. Article 20(5) of the 2001 Law provides that no religious service shall be used at the solemnization of a marriage on approved premises. When the draft Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law 200- (P.89/2001) was lodged for debate, Article 20(5) had been drafted in the following terms: “No religious service and no music or reading that would ordinarily form part of a religious service shall be used at the solemnization of a marriage on approved premises.”  The Tourism Committee of the time lodged an amendment stating that couples must have the freedom to select music or readings of their choice”. Their amendment was adopted and the words “and no music or reading that would ordinarily form part of a religious service” were removed.

 

  1. The 2001 Law was adopted with Article 20(5) in its present form: “No religious service shall be used at the solemnization of a marriage on approved premises”. In practice, this has been interpreted as meaning there should be no religious content at all in civil weddings but this is seemingly at odds with what the States originally intended.

 

  1. This position was reflected in the 2012 Law which also states that “No religious service shall be used at the solemnization of a civil partnership on approved premises” (Article 14(5)).

 

  1. July 2015 the States of Jersey debated a proposition lodged by Deputy Doublet entitled ‘Humanist and open-air marriages’ (P.65/2015)[2], which was the subject of a written comment from the Minister for Home Affairs (P.65/2015(Com))[3]. It was agreed in principle that the 2001 Law be amended to, amongst other things, clarify the position with regard to the content of civil marriage ceremonies so as to allow more flexibility.

 

  1. Whilst no specific reference was made to civil partnerships in the written comment (P.65/2015(Com), it is considered appropriate that the position with regard to content should also be clarified in relation to civil partnership ceremonies.

 

  1. Civil marriages account for approximately 70% of all wedding ceremonies in Jersey and, accordingly, it is considered appropriate that people opting for a civil marriage are allowed greater flexibility about the content of that ceremony. The intention is that this will include clarifying that participants can select music or readings of their choice, including those that are ordinarily associated with religious marriage ceremonies, as well as other popular elements, for example, candle lighting ceremonies, personal statements of commitment (in addition to the legally prescribed vows) etc. The amendment should not, however, extend to permit the use of rites associated with religious marriage ceremonies.

 

 

Section 3: Instructions

 

  1. The 2001 Law should be amended so that civil marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

 

a)             may include readings and music ordinarily associated with religious marriage ceremonies if the participants so wish. In practice this would include –

 

  1. hymns, songs or chants that make reference to religious matters;
  2. bible readings or other readings that make reference to religious matters;
  3. personalised vows or statements of commitment that make reference to religious matters, provided they do not replicate the vows or rites associated with religious marriage ceremonies. (Note that where participants choose to make personalised vows or statements of commitment, they must also make the declaration of marriage as set out in Art 17(4) of the 2001 Law).
  4. use of candles, lights, incense, ribbons or other such objects provided the use does not mimic or replicate acts of religious worship.

 

b)             cannot include religious service, i.e. the use of rites or rituals ordinarily associated with religious marriage ceremonies (regardless of whether that ceremony is or not those were Christian ceremonies). In practice this would exclude –

 

  1. prayers;
  2. acts of religious worship, devotion or service;
  3. use of religious imagery or statues, for example crosses, idols etc.

 

  1. The authorised individual solemnizing the marriage or registering the civil partnership is responsible for ensuring that the arrangements, form and content of each marriage ceremony in accordance with the law (may consult SR where required).

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chapter 5: Persons authorised to solemnize marriage in Jersey

 

 

Section1: Introduction

 

This chapter sets out the instructions to the Law Draftsman to amend existing legislation bringing forward new arrangement with regard to how individuals are authorised to solemnize marriage and civil partnerships in Jersey, and types ceremonies that they may preside over.

 

These changes are necessitated by the States decisions to allow same-sex couples to get married in Jersey and allow all couples to get married in the open-air.

 

Section 2: Instructions

People authorised to solemnize marriage in Jersey

The amended Law needs to provide that:

  1. A marriage in Jersey may only be solemnized by:

a)             the SR or their deputies

b)             an individual authorised by the SR to solemnize civil marriage (authorised civil celebrant) or

c)             an official of recognised and established religious organisation who is authorised by the SR to solemnize religious marriages (an authorised religious official)

d)             an Anglican official, who are authorised in accordance with Canon Law to solemnize marriage in Jersey (Anglican incumbent)

 

  1. The law needs to:

a)             authorise the SR and deputies, by dint of their position, to solemnize civil ceremonies in Jersey (marriage, marriage conversion and civil partnerships)

b)            provide for the SR to authorise other individuals to solemnize civil marriage and non-Anglican religious marriage in Jersey

 

  1. The SR must hold a register of all people, other than Anglican incumbents, who are authorised to solemnize marriages in Jersey. That register must be publically accessible.

 

  1. When a person is added to the register, there should be no requirement to give notice in the Jersey Gazette.

 

  1. An authorised civil celebrant, including the SR and deputies can preside over:

a)             civil weddings and

b)             civil partnerships and

c)             marriage conversion ceremonies. 

 

  1. An authorised religious official can preside over:

a)             religious weddings but only in accordance with the quadruple lock and

b)             marriage conversion ceremonies but only in accordance with the quadruple lock.

 


Quadruple lock in relation to authorised religious celebrants

 

  1. The amended law must set out that an authorised civil celebrant must solemnize marriage between same-sex couples but that an authorised religious official may solemnize same-sex marriage but only where they have explicitly consented to conduct the solemnization of same-sex marriage.

 

  1. It should further state the no authorised religious official can be compelled to solemnize same-sex marriage even where the relevant governing authority has consented to the solemnization of same-sex marriage or where the proprietors/trustees of a place of public religious worship have applied for approval in relation the solemnization of same-sex marriage.

 

  1. In addition, where a location is approved for both opposite-sex marriage and same-sex marriage (i.e. the location is not a place of public religious worship), an authorised religious official cannot be compelled to solemnization marriages at that location even if the marriage is a marriage between an opposite-sex couple.

 

Who does what

Civil weddings (opposite or same-sex)

  • SR and deputies
  • Authorised civil celebrants

 

Non-Anglican religious weddings (opposite-sex)

Authorised religious official

Non-Anglican religious weddings (same-sex)

Authorised religious official  but only in accordance with quadruple lock

Anglican religious weddings (opposite-sex)

Anglican incumbent

Anglican religious weddings (same-sex)

Anglican incumbent but only in accordance with quadruple lock

Marriage conversation - administrative

SR and deputies

Marriage conversation - ceremony

  • SR and deputies
  • Authorised civil celebrant
  • Authorised religious official – but only in accordance with the quadruple lock
  • Anglican incumbent – but only in accordance with the quadruple lock

 

 

Note: Civil partnerships

 

Art 3, of the Civil Partnership (Jersey) Law 2012 (the “2012 Law”) sets out that a civil partnership is formed by registration in the presence of a civil partnership registrar. Civil partnership registrars will include:

a)             the SR and their deputies

b)                  a celebrant authorised by the SR.

 

Where an individual is registered under the amended 2001 Law as an authorised civil celebrant they will automatically be authorised as a civil partnership registrar.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Authorisation by the SR

 

 

  1. The 2001 Law provides for the Constable to authorise a person to solemnize marriages[4] in registered buildings in their Parish. In the amended Law the SR, as opposed to the Constable should authorise individuals to solemnize weddings, regardless of whether they are authorised civil celebrants or authorised religious officials.

 

  1. This change is to provide a safeguard against marriages being solemnized by individuals who do not have the appropriate authority at the point at which open-air marriage is introduced. For example, a Methodist Minister authorised by the Constable of St Ouen solemnizing a marriage on part of the beach that falls within St Brelades. The Constable can only provide authorisation in their Parish, whereas the SR can provide authorisation in all approved locations.

 

  1. The SR can only authorise an individual to conduct religious weddings or civil weddings, not both (i.e. an individual can be appointed as an authorised civil celebrant or an authorised religious official not both).

 

  1. In authorising a person, the SR is authorising them in relation to any approved location as opposed to a specific location, except that:

a)             an individual authorised to solemnize civil marriages cannot do so in a location that is only approved for religious weddings (i.e. a place of public religious worship)

b)             an individual authorise to solemnize religious weddings can only do so in a place of public religious worship which accords with their faith (i.e. a Methodist Minister cannot solemnize a marriage in a location authorised just for Jewish worship). Note that place of public religious worship can be shared by two more denominations (See chapter 9 – place of marriage)

 

  1. The SR cannot authorise a person to solemnize a marriage or civil partnership as a “one-off”. This includes authorised civil celebrants and religious officials. This means that a couple who wish to involve a particular celebrant in their wedding because of a personal or family reason (for example their local priest from UK) can only involve them in the non-legal parts of the ceremony, they cannot solemnize the wedding.

 

  1. Any individual who wishes to be authorised as a civil celebrant will need to apply for authorisation via a “recruitment” drive organised by the SR. The SR may arrange for a recruitment drive to take place at any point at which the SR deems it is necessary. The SR cannot be compelled to consider an application for authorisation outside any recruitment drive (Note: in using the term “recruitment” this is not in any way meant to imply that celebrants are employees of the SR).

 

  1. In the case of religious officials, the SR will not organise “recruitment” drives. The SR will instead consider applications from religious organisations to consider authorising one of their religious officials (for example; Monsignor France can request that the SR authorises a catholic priest who has just moved to the Island at any point).

 

  1. The law must provide for the Minister, by Order, to specify the form of the applications for authorisation in relation to civil celebrants and religious officials. This will include any requirements in relation to religious officials providing consent with regard to the solemnization of same-sex marriage and the solemnization of any marriage at a location approved for both opposite-sex and same-sex marriage.

 

  1. Authorisation should not be construed as requiring an authorised individual to attend the solemnization of a marriage on a particular day, location or time.

 

  1. The SR can choose not to authorise a person if, in the SR’s view, they should not be authorised. Reasons may include:

a)             failure to meet personal specification associated with the role

b)             failure to demonstrate appropriate skills and experience

c)             they are not a ‘fit or proper person’. The concept of ‘fit and proper’ is as per Art 19 (9) of the Charities Law (Jersey) 2014, albeit there is no definition of “fit and proper”

Where the decision not to authorise relates to a religious official, the SR must engage the appropriate religious officials/authorities in the process

 

  1. A civil celebrant is authorised for a five-year period.  During that five-year period, they may however step-down or be struck off. At the end of the five-year period, the SR can re-authorised that individual for an additional term of up to five years (albeit not necessarily 5 years) if the SR is satisfied that it is reasonable to do so.  There is no limit to the number of terms an individual can be authorised for, whether or not those are consecutive periods.

 

  1. A religious official is authorised for an unspecified period of time, although this does not preclude them stepping down or being struck off at any point.

 

  1.  The SR must be able to investigate any complaints received about authorised civil celebrants and authorised religious officials. Where the complaint is about an authorised religious official, the SR will engage the appropriate religious officials/authorities in the process. The law must provide that, even though the SR will consult the appropriate religious officials/authorities, it the SR responsibly to determine if their authorisation should be cancelled, not the religious officials/authorities.

 

  1. The SR may cancel an individuals authorisation at any point. This can be with immediate effect, or with a period of notice depending on the circumstances and what the SR deems to be reasonable. Where the complaint is about an authorised religious official, the SR will engage the appropriate religious officials/authorities in the process.

 

  1. Grounds for cancellation included, but are not limited to:

a)             failure to comply with the law, including behaving in a discriminatory manner

b)             failure to uphold the solemnity and dignity of marriage

c)             failure to ensure the arrangements, form and content of each marriage ceremony are in accordance with the law

d)             failure to take reasonable steps to ensure all standard conditions are complied with

e)             failure to provide a good service

f)               failure to carry out duties as directed by the SR

g)             failure to attend any training or development sessions as required by the SR

h)             is incapacitated by illness; or

i)               is otherwise unable or unfit to discharge the functions of a celebrant

 

 

  1. Where authorisation is cancelled, there is a route of appeal to the Minister. The Minister can review and substitute the decision of the SR if the Minister considers the SR’s decision to be unreasonable. Consideration needs to be given in the drafting of the Law as to whether this route of appeal needs to be set out in law or in policy.

 

  1. The authorised civil celebrant must, as per the 2001 Law (Art 19 (5)), take an oath before the Royal Court before each new term of authorisation.  This does not apply to religious officials because their oath is to their religious authority.

 

  1. An authorised civil celebrant cannot solemnize a wedding until they have been sworn in at Court.

 

  1. The law must establish that all authorised civil celebrants must undertake same-sex marriage and, in accordance with the quadruple lock, the law must state that no authorised religious official can be compelled to solemnize same-sex marriage.

 

  1. The SR and deputies are employees of the States of Jersey.  Authorised civil celebrants will neither be employees of the States of Jersey, nor will they have a contract of services. They will operate as “freelancers” who will be paid by the couple to solemnize to marriage and undertake associated duties and responsibilities. This does not preclude States employees from being authorised civil celebrants or, indeed authorised religious celebrants.

 

  1. The amended law will need to provide that the Minister may, by Order, provide for a registration free to be paid to the SR by authorised individuals. This may include:

a)             a fee paid on initial registration by authorised civil celebrants

b)             a fee paid on initial registration by authorised religious officials

c)             an annual registration fee payable by authorised civil celebrants

d)             an annual registration fee payable by authorised religious officials

 

Payment of initial registration and annual registration fees

 

The payment of fees will be to cover the costs incurred by the SR in the procession of application, associated training and quality assurances. Consideration will be given as to whether authorised religious officials should or should not be charged any fee, by the law will allow for the possibility, in the event that the Minister deems it appropriate.

 

 

 

  1. The transitional arrangements associated with the introduction of the amended law must provide that all existing celebrants appointed under the 2001 Law or under the Civil Partnership will be required to re-apply for re-registration. This is to ensure that all authorised individuals, regardless of the legislation under which they were registered, and cognisent of, and sign-up to, the new requirements of the amended 2001 Law.

 

 

Responsibility to uphold the solemnity and dignity of marriage and standard conditions

 

  1. Schedule 1 of the Marriage and Civil Status (Approved Premises) (Jersey) Order 2002 sets out a number of conditions that must be adhere to by the person who is responsible for the location at which the marriage is taking place.  The conditions set out in Schedule 1 are based on the principle that there is a clearly identified “approval holder” in relation to all locations approved for the solemnization of marriage. Whilst the concept of an “approval holder” works well where those locations are in premises with a clearly identifiable owner or manager (for example: a room in a hotel; a marquee in a hotel garden) it does not readily transfer to situation where the location is, for example, an area of a sea beach or a park. It is therefore intended that some of the conditions placed on the “approval holder” in relation to the location of the marriage, will, in the amended law become the responsibility of the authorised individual (civil celebrant or religious official), as set out below. These are known as the standard conditions.

 

  1. The law should set out that it is the responsibility of authorised individual solemnizing each marriage to ensure, to the best of their abilities, that:

a)             the marriage ceremony upholds the dignity and solemnity of marriage, and

b)             the arrangements, form and content of each marriage ceremony are in accordance with the law

c)             that all standard conditions are complied with

 

 

  1. Those standard conditions (as set out in the approval of location instructions) are:

a)             no food or drink is sold or consumed at the location in which a marriage ceremony takes place for one hour prior to that ceremony or during that ceremony.

b)             the marriage ceremony takes place within the boundaries set out in the approval and as stated in the register (i.e. within the approved room/s or on the approved area of land)

c)             the location in which a marriage is solemnized is separate from any other activities taking place in that location at the time of the ceremony (for example; there must be a reasonable means whereby other beach users are kept out of the immediate space; other venue uses must have vacated the location unless they are attending the marriage ceremony as members of the public)

d)             Details of wedding must be displayed at the location at which the wedding is to take place. These should:

  1. be displayed a least 1 hour before the time of wedding and throughout the ceremony
  2. at each public entrance to the location or equivalent (i.e. the main entrances to a hotel; the public access point on a beach)
  3. include the names of the parties to the marriage plus a location map identifying and giving directions to the place where the marriage ceremony is to take place.

 

  1. In stating that authorised individuals are responsible for ensuring the standard conditions are applied with, the law must allow for an appropriate degree of discretion where reasonable. For example, an authorised individual may allow:

a)             young children who are attending the ceremony to be bottle fed, or

b)             water to be drunk at out-door weddings in the summer.

 

  1. The authorised individual may delegate to location’s named responsible person, where there is a named responsible person, or to any delegated of the responsible person (see Place of Marriage instructions) the standard conditions.

 

  1. In doing so, however the authorised individual must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the responsible person complies with those conditions. In the event that the conditions are not complied with;

a)             The SR may strike off the authorised individual – where that individual is an authorised civil celebrant or authorize religious official - in the event that the SR believes there are grounds to do so, those grounds being the failure to comply with conditions or to make reasonable arrangements to ensure that the responsible authority complies with the arrangements; and/or;

 

b)             The approving authority in relation to the location of marriage may revoke their approval for marriages to be solemnized at that location on the grounds that conditions intended to ensure the dignity and solemnity of marriage are not complied with.

 

  1. In addition, the authorised individual must be:

a)             available at the location at which the marriage it to take place for a minimum of one hour prior to each marriage ceremony in order to ensure these conditions are applied with and

b)             must be at the marriage ceremony throughout the marriage ceremony.

 

 

 


Chapter 6: Arrangements relating to emergency and special circumstances marriage (civil and non-Anglican)

 

Section 1: Introduction

 

  1. In case of Anglican weddings, Canon Law in Jersey already provides for the Dean to issue a special license so that a marriage can be solemnized in unapproved/unregistered place, or outside permitted hours or in other compelling circumstances. This provision is primarily to allow for people to get married when one, or both, of the futures spouses has very little time left to live.

 

  1. The 2001 Law does not, however, make similar provision for the Superintendent Register to also permit marriage in emergency or special circumstances. The law therefore needs to be amended to make provision in relation to three different set of emergency or untoward circumstances:

 

a)             Emergency civil and non-Anglican marriage: An emergency marriage is one which is taking place where there is an expectation of death within a very short time, as opposed to where the individual is not expected to recover or is unable to leave hospital etc., but is not in immediate danger of dying. (i.e. the timeframe for the organising the wedding is curtailed as a result of the danger of death)

 

b)             Changes to marriage arrangements in response to unforeseen circumstances: This is distinct to an emergency marriage in that arrangements for a wedding have already been made, but last minute changes to those arrangements are required due to severe illness preventing the wedding happening in the previously agreed timeframe.

 

c)             Special circumstances marriage: This is a wedding where the usual processes and timeframes will apply, albeit there are special circumstances that mean that exceptions needs to be made to in relation to the location of the marriage.

 

  1. This chapter sets out instructions to the Law Draftsman on amendments to the 2001 Law in order to make the necessary provisions.

 

Section 2: Instructions in relation to emergency civil and non-Anglican marriage

 

  1. The law needs to provide for the SR to grant permission to marry and issue the marriage schedule (or CONI) in emergency circumstances in relation to both civil marriage and non-Anglican religious marriage.

 

  1. The arrangements in relation to a CONI in an emergency are the same as for the issuing of marriage schedule except that the SR must annotate the CONI before issuing to ensure that the clearly sets about changes to standard procedures (e.g.: curtailed timeframe, wavering of requirement to provide all the required evidence)

 

  1. The SR cannot provide emergency permission in relation to solemnization according to the rites of the Anglican Church. Emergency Anglican marriage is already provided for by way of the Dean’s special license

 

  1. The SR can provide emergency permission for marriage between:

a)             an opposite-sex couple; civil marriage or non-Anglican religious marriage

b)             a same-sex couple: civil marriage or non-Anglican religious marriage but only where this is in accordance with the quadruple lock.

 

  1. The SR can only grant emergency permission where the SR is satisfied that one of the parties is seriously ill and is expected to die in a short timeframe.

 

  1. As per the standard marriage process, one or both of the parties to the marriage can apply to give notice, or a presentative can do so on their behalf. They can apply electronically or in person, but if they are applying in person they must make an appointment with the SR in advance.

 

  1. Both of the parties must, however, sign the marriage notice form and the freedom to marry form so that, in effect, both are giving notice to marry. The alternative arrangements for the signing of forms apply in the event that either party is unable to sign and requires a representative to do so on their behalf.

 

  1. When applying to give notice, the couple must provide to the SR:

(a)          the appropriate fee. The law must provide the Minister powers to set out what those fees are. (Consideration will be given as to whether those fees should be different from non-emergency fees)

(b)          a statement from the appropriate authority (see below)

 

  1. The statement from the appropriate authority must set out the name of the party who is expected to die. This includes confirming that:

a)             there is an expectation of death within a three months

b)             that the party is of sound mind and can understand the nature of marriage and the associated declarations

c)             that either the party can be moved to the proposed approved place of marriage or that the party is house bound and cannot be moved to an approved place of marriage

 

  1. The appropriate authority will, in all cases, be a registered medical practitioner.

 

(See Appendix 1 for sample of authorised statement: the content of the statement should be provided in guidance issued by the SR as opposed to set out in an Order)

 

  1. The statement must have been made no more than 14 days before it received by the SR.
  2. Receipt of this statement must be recorded by the SR in the notice book and on the marriage schedule.

 

  1. Where a statement has been provided by an appropriate authority, the parties do not need to provide copies of all the required supporting evidence to the SR in order for the SR to issue them a copy of the marriage notice form and declaration of freedom to marry form – albeit both parties must have provided, or have caused to be provided, originals to the SR before the SR can issue the marriage schedule.

 

  1. On receipt of the signed marriage notice form and the freedom to marry form the SR will enter into the notice to marry book and will publish the notice. If the SR is yet to receive originals of the supporting evidence, the SR will annotate the notice accordingly, to state that it is a provisional notice to marry.

 

  1. The parties to the marriage must provide to the SR all the required supporting evidence (original documents).

 

  1. Under the standard marriage process both parties to the marriage have to attend the SR office in order to provide those documents and sign the signature verifier in front of the SR. Under the emergency process, however, only one of the parties needs attend the SR to provide original documentation and appropriate fee, and sign the signature verifier in front of the SR.

 

 

  1. Where neither party can attend the SR to provide the documentation, either because both parties are dying and/or are housebound and/or the circumstances of the emergency do not readily permit it, the Law needs to provide that:

(a)          the SR can attend them, in which case both parties can sign the signature verifier in front of the SR, or

(b)          an representative of the couple may provide all the original documentation on their behalf.

 

  1. If only one of the parties or if representative provided the information on behalf of the parties, this must be recorded on the marriage schedule as this indicates that the SR has been unable to verify the original documents in the presence of both parties.
  2. On receipt of the appropriate fee and receipt and verification of the original documents and– and having entered the marriage into the notice the marry book - the SR may issue to the authorised civil celebrant or authorise religious official solemnizing the marriage:

(a)          the marriage schedule

(b)          the marriage certificates

(c)           a copy of the signed notice to marry form and/or the signature verifiers showing the signatures of both parties to the marriage. The authorised individual must use this to verify that the parties’ signatures on the marriage schedule match those on the notice to marry form prior to the authorised individual signing the marriage schedule.

 

  1. As per the standard marriage process, the SR must keep and store copies of the original documents.

 

  1. The law must provide the SR powers to:

(a)          disapply any of the timeframes set out in law where the SR has received the statement from the appropriate authority

(b)          forgo the provision of any of the supporting evidence where the SR believes there are reasonable grounds for doing so. This cannot include foregoing evidence of:

  1. immigration status where required
  2. divorce/dissolution/or death of previous partner of spouse, where one of both of the parties were previously married or in a civil partnership to someone else.

 

Note: Emergency visa

The Customs and Immigration Service has a facility for applying for emergency visas in the event that someone is dying.

 

  1. Where the SR does disapply timeframes and/or provision of supporting evidence the SR must ensure:
    1. this is fully recorded on the SR’s records
    2. the marriage notice, schedule and certificates are annotated accordingly.

 

  1. An emergency marriage can take place either:

(a)          in any location approved for marriage (and if the marriage is between a same-sex couple a location which is approved for same-sex marriage), or

(b)          in any location where the dying party may be housebound, as shown on the statement from the appropriate authority.

 

  1. An emergency marriage can take place any day of the week, 24 hours a day.

 

  1. All other matters relating to the marriage ceremony and registration process will be as per the standard process, including the requirement for both parties to be present and for two or more witnesses to be present.

 

  1. As with standard marriages, all relevant elements of quadruple lock apply with regard to authorised religious officials.

 

Section 3: Instructions in relation to changes to arrangements in response to unforeseen circumstances

 

 

  1. The standard marriage process will provide that a marriage may only be solemnized between two parties named on a marriage schedule:

(d)          in the approved location named on the schedule and the marriage notice

(e)          on the day named on the schedule and marriage notice

(f)            by the authorised individual named on the schedule.

 

 

  1. Under the standard process, the law sets out that whilst a notice to marry may be amended (but only if it is done so 25 clear days before the date of the wedding), the marriage schedule cannot by amended or re-issued once it has been issued.

 

  1. Special provision is therefore required in the event that:

(a)          a marriage notice needs to be amended with the 25 clear day timeframe and/or

(b)          a schedule, which has already been issued needs to be amended.

 

  1. The only circumstances in which that special provision may apply is:

(g)          one or both of the parties to the marriage is taken seriously ill and there is a statement from an appropriate authority confirming the party unfit to get married on that day set out in the schedule/notice

(h)          as a result of unforeseen circumstances, the authorised individual is unable to solemnize the wedding

 

  1. In the event that the party to the marriage is seriously unwell and the date of the marriage is to be delayed or brought forward the SR must:

(a)          annotate the marriage notice to show the new date (plus revised location and/or authorised individual if necessitated by the change of date)

(b)          must re-issue a new marriage schedule and certificates

(c)           must update the SR records accordingly.

 

  1. A marriage may only be brought forward in the event of that the appropriate authority that confirmed that there is a risk of death in the very short term or that the nature of the illness/treatment means that it must be brought forward.

 

  1. The statement must have been made no more than 14 clear days before it received by the SR (i.e. it cannot have been made before the start of the 25 clear day notice period).
  2. Receipt of this statement must be recorded in the notice book and on the marriage schedule.

 

(see Appendix 2 for sample statement: the content of the statement should be provided in guidance issued by the SR as opposed to set out in an Order)

 

  1. In the event that the authorised individual is unable to solemnize the wedding the SR may either:

(a)          issue an updated schedule and certificate if there is time to do so or

(b)          provide the replacement authorised individual with permission to annotate the existing schedule and certificates to show the change of authorised individual’s name. Permission can be in writing or orally. In this case, the SR must then update their records and sign against the annotation prior the sending the signed schedule to the Parish Registrar.

 

  1. Given that the parties to marriage have ready paid a fee for giving notice and for the issuing of the schedule, no additional fee will be charged.

 

  1. The schedule cannot be amended if, for example:

(a)          there are problems associated with the use of location (e.g.: it has burnt down; there is a storm)

(b)          there are travel delays and either of the parties is unable to be there

(c)           family members are taken unwell.

 

  1. In the event that a wedding has to be cancelled at the last minute because of circumstances set out above, or similar circumstances, the SR should have discretion in law to waiver any fees associated with a new application to give notice etc., where the SR believes there are extenuating circumstances to do so. This does not include a refunding of fees already paid

 

 

Section 4: Instructions relating to special circumstance civil and non-Anglican marriage

 

  1. The law must provide for the fact that people may want to get marriage at a point in their lives when special circumstance apply. These circumstances being:

a)             one or both of the parties are house bound;

b)             one or both of the partners are detained (prison or under the mental health act)

 

  1. Whilst both parties can be housebound or detained, there is a requirement for both parties to be together with the authorised individual and witnesses at the solemnization of the marriage. Therefore:

a)             both parties have to be housebound at the same location (if one can be moved to the other, only one is house bound) or

b)             both parties have to be detained in the same location or

c)             one of the detained parties has to be transported to the place of detainment of the other party (e.g.: where both are detained in different facilities, one must be transported to the other by the appropriate authority which requires the permission of the appropriate authority, that authority having given consideration to factors such as logistic, safety and cost)

 

  1. A special circumstances marriage only take place

a)             in the location where one of the parties or both the parties are housebound, as shown on the statement from the appropriate authority

b)             in the location where one of the parties is detained and with the consent of all the appropriate authorities.

 

  1. Where a person is housebound an appropriate authority must provide a statement confirming that:

a)             the person is housebound

b)             they ought not to be moved from the place where he or she is and that it is likely that they will not be able to be moved for at least three months from the date of the marriage.

(See Appendix 3 for sample statement: the content of the statement should be provided in guidance issued by the SR as opposed to set out in an Order)

 

  1. Where one or both of the parties are detained (prison or under the mental health act) an appropriate authority must provide a statement, for each of the parties, confirming their detainment and confirming that they, the appropriate authority, agree to the marriage taking place at the place of detainment. In the event that one detained party needs to be move to the location of the second detained party, both appropriate authorities must agree to this and must make the necessary arrangements.

 

  1. The statement must have been made no more than 14 days before it received by the SR in relation to someone who is housebound. This restriction does not, however, apply to someone who is detained providing the appropriate authority confirms that the person will still be detained on proposed date of marriage.
  2. The statements must be submitted to the SR at point at which the parties to the marriage apply to give notice to marry.

 

  1. Receipt of this statement must be recorded in the notice book and on the marriage schedule.

 

  1. The processes and requirements in relation to applying to given notice are the same as the standard marriage procedure.

 

  1. The processes for the signing of forms and the issuing of the schedule will then vary depending on the circumstances of the parties to get married (see below)

 

One or both parties are detained together or separately

  1. Where the person is:

(a)          detained in a hospital the appropriate authority is the hospital manager

(b)          detained in a prison or secure accommodation centre, the appropriate authority is the prison governor or another officer with responsible for the prison or place of secure accommodation

(c)           housebound the appropriate authority is a registered medical practitioner providing care to the housebound party

 

  1. On receipt of the application to give notice, copies of the required supporting evidence and the required fee, the SR will
    1. will issue the notice to marry form and the freedom to marry form to the non-detained party as per standard procedures and/or
    2. attend the detained party or parties in order that they can sign, in the SR presence:
  1. a notice to marry form
  2. the freedom to marry form
  3. a signature verifier form

 

  1. When attending a detained party, the SR will take with them copies of the supporting evidence provided at the point at which the parties have applied to give notice to marry (having been provided either by one of the parties or a representative) in order that SR can verify that supporting evidence relates to the detained individual.

 

  1. As the SR has to attend the detained party, the party must be detained in Jersey (i.e. a marriage can take place between two parties detained in Jersey but it cannot take place between a party detained in the UK or elsewhere and a party detained in Jersey)

 

  1. On receipt of these signed forms from both parties the SR will enter the notice to marry into the notice to marry book and publish that notice as per standard procedures.

 

  1. The alternative arrangements for the signing of forms apply in the event that either party is unable to sign and requires a representative to do so on their behalf (see marriage process instructions)

 

  1. Where only one of the parties is detained, the non-detained party will need to attend the SR office to:

(a)          sign the signature verifier (the detained party will already have signed the signature verifier in front of the appropriate authority) and

(b)          provide original copies of the supporting evidence for both parties

(c)           pay the required fee

 

  1. Where both parties are detained, a representative of the detained parties will need to attend the SR’s office to provide original copies of the supporting evidence for both parties and pay the required fee.

 

  1. The law needs to provide the SR to forgo provision of some of the original supporting evidence required where, in the SR’s view it is reasonable to do so. This cannot include foregoing evidence of divorce/dissolution where one of both of the parties were previously married or in a civil partnership to someone else.

 

 

  1. The receipt and verification of the original supporting documents the SR may then issue the marriage schedule and certificates to the authorised individual in accordance with standard processes. The SR will also provide to the authorised individual copies of the signature verifiers so the authorised individual can verify signatures at the point at which the schedule is signed.

 

  1. Prior to issuing, the SR must have received confirmation from the appropriate authority that the appropriate authority has no objections to the proposed authorised individual. This is a safeguard in the event that the appropriate authority is concerned any potential security risks.

 

  1. The marriage schedule must be annotated to indicate that it was a special circumstance marriage and there was no public access.

 

  1. All other matters relating to the marriage ceremony and registration process will be as per the standard process including the requirement for both parties to be present and for two or more witnesses to be present.

 

  1. As with standard marriages the quadruple lock applies with regard to authorised religious officials.

 

Where one of both or the parties are housebound

  1. On receipt of the application to give notice, copies of the required supporting evidence and the required fee the SR will send to the couple a notice to marry form and a freedom to marry form.

 

  1. Both parties to the marriage will sign the forms and return the SR.

 

  1. The SR will then issue the notice to marry form and the freedom to marry form as per standard procedures to the non-detained party.

 

  1. Both of the parties must sign the marriage notice form and the freedom to marry form. The alternative arrangements for the signing of forms apply in the event that either party is unable to sign and requires a representative to do so on their behalf (see marriage process instructions)

 

  1. The SR will attend both parties together in the place where either one or both are housebound, in order that both parties can sign the signature verifier in the SR presence and provide to the SR original copies of the supporting evidence and the required fee.

 

  1. On receipt of these signed forms the SR will enter the notice to marry into the notice to marry book and publish that notice as per standard procedures.

 

 

  1. On receipt and verification of the original supporting documents, the SR may then issue the marriage schedule and certificates in accordance with standard processes. The marriage schedule must be annotated to indicate that it was a special circumstance marriage and there was not public access.

 

  1. The law needs to provide the SR to forgo provision of some of the original supporting evidence required where, in the SR’s view it is reasonable to do so. This cannot include foregoing evidence of divorce/dissolution where one of both of the parties were previously married or in a civil partnership to someone else.

 

 

  1. All other matters relating to the marriage ceremony and registration process will be as per the standard process including the requirement for both parties to be present and for two or more witnesses to be present.

 

  1. As with standard marriages the quadruple lock applies with regard to authorised religious officials.

 

 

Service Development note:

The SR office will:

  • develop procedures for the emergency granting of licences to marry and issuing of forms. This will include 24 hour contacts arrangements
  • ensure that both the Hospice and the hospital (General and Overdale) are included on the register of approved locations.

 

 


Appendix 1: Sample statement in relation to emergency marriage

 

 

The statement must be:

  • on headed paper, signed and dated
  • be from an appropriate authority. In relation to an emergency marriage this must be registered medical practitioner who responsible for the care of the patient.

 

Re:…………… (name of intended party to the marriage)

 

I am writing to confirm the following points with regards to the proposed marriage of the above name patient:

 

  1. I am the doctor in medical attendance on the above named patient;

 

  1. The above named patient is seriously ill and there is an expectation of death within the next three months.

 

  1. The above name patient is of sound mind and understands the nature of marriage and the nature of declaration of marriage. The nature of the declaration being able to solemnly confirm that they know of no lawful reason why they may not be joined in marriage their intended spouse.

 

The above named patient:

 

  • can move to a place where marriage is normally solemnized or

 

  • cannot move to a place where marriage is normally solemnized and requires the authorised civil celebrant or authorised religious official solemnizing the marriage to attend them at …………. (name of location)

 

(tick as appropriate)

 

 

  1. I confirm that I am registered medical practitioner

 

Registering authority………………..

Registration or reference number ……………………………..

Date:……………………

 

 


Appendix 2: Sample statement in relation to unforeseen circumstances

 

 

The statement must be:

  • on headed paper, signed and dated
  • be from an appropriate authority. In relation to a changes to marriage arrangements this must be registered medical practitioner who responsible for the care of the party to the marriage.

 

 

Re:…………..(name of intended party to the marriage)

 

I am writing to confirm the following points with regards to the proposed marriage of the above name patient:

 

  1. I am the doctor in medical attendance on the above named patient;

 

  1. The above named patient is seriously ill and is not expected to be able to get married on the date set out in the notice to marry. This date being………….[5]

 

  1. The nature of the illness means that:

 

a)             there is an expectation of death within the next three months, OR

 

b)             due to the associated treatment or anticipated deterioration in health, marriage needs to take place before the date set out on their notice to marry OR

 

c)             due to the associated treatment or anticipated deterioration in health, marriage needs to take place after the date set out on their notice to marry

 

  1. I confirm that I am registered medical practitioner

 

Registering authority………………..

Registration or reference number ……………………………..

Date: ………………….

 

 

 


Appendix 3: Sample statement in relation to special circumstances marriage (detained person)

 

 

The statement must be:

  • on headed paper, signed and dated.
  • be from an appropriate authority. Where the person is:

(d)          detained in a hospital the appropriate authority is the hospital manager

(e)          detained in a prison or secure accommodation centre, the appropriate authority is the prison governor or another officer with responsible for the prison or place of secure accommodation

 

Re: ………………..(name of intended party to the marriage)

 

I am writing to confirm that:

 

  1. The above named individual is detained in a hospital, prison or in secure accommodation, cannot be moved to a place where marriage is normally solemnized and therefore requires the relevant officials attend them for the purposes of giving notice to marry and for the solemnization of marriage.

 

  1. As the appropriate authority, I agreed that the above named person may get married in the place in which they are detained, subject to confirmation from the SR of the associated arrangements.

 

  1. Name of place of detention:……………………..

 

Name:

Job title:

Date:

 

 

 

 

 


Appendix 4: Sample statement in relation to special circumstances marriage (housebound person)

 

The statement must be:

  • on headed paper, signed and dated.
  • be from an appropriate authority. Where the person is housebound the appropriate authority is a registered medical practitioner providing care to the housebound party

 

Re:………………(name of intended party to the marriage)

 

I am writing to confirm the following points with regards to the proposed marriage of the above name individual.

 

  1. The above named individual is housebound, cannot move to a place where marriage is normally solemnized and therefore requires the relevant officials to attend them for the purposes of giving notice to marry and for the solemnization of marriage.
  2. It is anticipated that the above named party will not be able to be moved for the place at which they are housebound for at least three months from the date of the marriage.
  3. Place where they are housebound:…………..

 

I confirm that I am registered medical practitioner responsible for the provision of care or treatment to the above named person:

 

Registering authority………………..

Registration or reference number ……………………………..

 

Name:

Job title:

Date

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chapter 7: Conversion of civil partnerships into marriage (marriage conversion)

 

 

Section 1: Introduction

  1. This chapter sets out the instructions to the Law Draftsman to include in the amended law provisions to allow couples to convert their existing civil partnership into a marriage where both partners wish to do so.

 

  1. The amended law needs to:

 

a)             allow couples to convert their civil partnership into a marriage providing:

  • it is a qualifying civil partnership and
  • both partners consent to conversion because they wish to be married to each other;

 

b)             set out what is meant by ‘qualifying’ civil partnership;

 

c)             allow couples to choose whether that conversion is via an administrative route or via a conversion ceremony. The administrative route is available for those who do not want a ceremony because they feel that their original civil partnership ceremony was sufficient;

 

d)             set out the processes associated with conversion;

 

e)             set out the effects of conversion which are:

  • the civil partnership ends on conversion
  • the couple are now married
  • the marriage is to be treated as having subsisted since the date on which they entered into the civil partnership, not the date on which they converted the civil partnership into a marriage

 

Section 2: Instructions

Qualifying civil partnership

  1. A qualifying civil partnership is a civil partnership:

 

(a)          is a civil partnership which was formed by registration in Jersey (as per Art 2 (1) (a) of the 2012 law) including civil partnership registered in Jersey even where the partners were not Jersey residents, or

 

(b)          is civil partnership which is treated as an overseas relationship as per Art 2 (1) (b) and Schedule 1 of the 2012, law providing that relationship does not fall with the general restrictions or prohibitions on marriages as set out in the Arts 2 to 4 of the 2001 Law (for example, it cannot be a relationship between people of the same descent or with a minor, even if that is permitted under law in the jurisdiction in which the overseas relationship was formed). This restriction excludes Art 2 (1) (b) of the 2001 which will be removed on the introduction of same-sex marriage.

 

Where the civil partnership falls into (b) above, it must be clear that the civil partnership did not fall into general restrictions or prohibitions on marriages at the point at which the civil partnership was formed (i.e. for example if one of the partners was 14 when it was formed, but 25 at the point of conversion, it falls outside the definition of a qualifying civil partnership in that the parties could entered into it at aged 14).

 

If the civil partnership did not comply at the point at which it was formed with the general restrictions or prohibitions on marriages, it will be a void conversion.

 

In both (a) and (b) above the civil partnership must not have been dissolved or annulled. (It cannot have been ended by death as the couple could not be applying for conversion)

 

  1. Art 1 (1) of Schedule 1 of the 2012 law sets out that an overseas relationship is one which is a specified relationship or one which meets the conditions set out in Art (1) (1) (b) and Art 1 (2).  This should be amended to remove reference to a specified relationship and the associated schedule of specified relationships (Schedule 1, Art 2).

 

  1. The schedule of specified relationship (Art 2 of schedule 1) includes a number of jurisdictions where the description of the relationship is in fact “marriage”. At the point at which the same-sex marriage legislation comes into force in Jersey these marriages will automatically be recognised as marriages in Jersey under the principle of comity, as will other same-sex marriages formed in jurisdictions not currently include in that schedule, for example, same-sex marriages formed in England and Wales. This will be on the proviso, as set out above that these marriages do not fall into the general restrictions on or prohibition of marriage as set out in the Arts 2 to 4 of the 2001 Law as set out above.

 

(Policy point: need to agree with the Taxes office how decisions can be made as to what relationship do qualify as civil partnerships for tax purposes).

 

  1. All other descriptions of specified relationship will be overseas relationships by dint of meeting the conditions in Art (1) (1) (b) and Art 1 (2) and will, therefore, be qualifying partnerships.

 

Note 1: Conversion of partnership formed after same-sex marriage comes into force

 

It was originally envisaged that conversion of civil partnership would be limited to civil partnerships formed before same-sex marriage legislation comes into force as it was intended that the conversion should only be available to people previously denied access to marriage (i.e. not couples who enter a civil partnership after the introduction of same-sex marriage and then change their minds about wanting to married after all).

 

On reflection however, this will create a number of anomalies which could potentially place Jersey residents at a disadvantage to non-Jersey residents.

 

Couple A:

Jersey residents who decide to enter a civil partnership even though same-sex marriage is, by that time, available in Jersey. They later want to convert to a marriage but cannot because the law does not permit it.

 

Couple B:

Residents of France who entered a civil partnership in France because same-sex marriage is not an option there although it is in Jersey. They later move to Jersey were, unlike the Jersey couple they can convert this civil partnership into a marriage.

 

In addition, allowing conversion of civil partnerships formed after the introduction of same-sex marriage will bring Jersey into line with England, Wales and Scotland.

 


Effect of the signing the declaration

  1. The law will need to set out that the qualifying civil partnership is converted into a marriage on the signing of a conversion declaration by the couple and the authorised individual, in the presence of each other, regardless of whether that is via the administrative route or via a ceremony.

 

  1. The effects of signing the declaration include:

(a)          the civil partnership has been converted to marriage and shall be treated as if it were always a marriage

(b)          the marriage is to be treated as having subsisted since the date on which the couple entered into the civil partnership, not the date on which signed the conversion declaration

 

  1. In signing the declaration both partners are confirming that:

(a)          they are in civil partnership with each other and

(b)          they understand that on signing the declaration they will be married and will be each other’s lawful husband or wife and

(c)           that they know of no reason why they may not convert that partnership into a marriage and

(d)          they believe all of the information and evidence given for the purposes of the conversion declaration to be true;

 

Note to content of declaration
 

The declaration includes reference to them knowing “no reason why they may not convert that partnership into a marriage” in recognition of the requirement to ensure their civil partnership confirmed to the general restrictions or prohibitions on marriages at the point at which the civil partnership was formed.

 

Consideration was given to also including a requirement for both partners to state that they understand the nature of marriage and are capable for consenting. However, given that they are already in a committed civil partnership, this has been removed as it is considered unnecessary.

 

 

Application to convert

 

  1. One or both of the parties to the conversion, or a representative of the parties to the conversion, must apply to the SR for the parties to convert (complete a conversion application form).

 

  1. They can apply electronically, in writing or in person at the SR’s office. Electronically could include via email or, once e-forms are created, via the web. If they are applying in person, one or both of the parties or their representative may attend but they must make an appointment in advance.

 

  1. Both parties to the conversion must have been ordinarily resident at their place of residence (whether or not in Jersey) for at least 7 days before they apply to convert.

 

  1. The couple can apply to convert and submit a conversion application form a maximum of 1 year and a minimum of 25 clear days before the date of the conversion. The Law must however provide SR the ability to make exceptions to the timeframe where the SR believes it is reasonable to do so, for example in relation to emergency conversions, illness and unavoidable travel delays etc.

 

  1. This application form must include the following:

 

(a)                    Forename/Surname

(b)                    Date of birth and country of birth

(c)                    Sex

(d)                    Usual place of resident

(e)                    Father’s/Parent’s forename(s) and surname(s) as per their birth or adoption certificate

(f)                      Mother’s/Parent’s forename(s) and surname(s) as per their birth or adoption certificate

(g)                    Date and place in which civil partnership was entered into

(h)                    Ages of both parties on the date on which civil partnership was entered into

(i)                      Details of representative, if a representative is applying on behalf of a couple in relation to an emergency or special circumstances conversion. Details include:

-                 forename/Surname

-                 address in Jersey (if visitors given name of hotel etc.)

-                 relationship with couple

 

In addition, the SR will require other information such as contact details.

 

  1. The application form must also include a declaration that the couple’s civil partnership, at the time at which it was entered into, as opposed to the time at which they applied for conversion, compiled with the general restrictions or prohibitions on marriages.  This includes:

 

(a)          That if CP between minors were permitted in law at the point at which the CP was formed (i.e. parties aged 16 or 17, the relevant consents were acquired)[6]

(b)          Neither party was already in a lawful marriage, civil partnership or equivalent overseas relationship

(c)          That the parties are not persons of the same descent as per Schedule 1 of the 2001 Law (Note: see separate instructions relating to amendments to Schedule 1)

(d)          That the restrictions on marriage with former stepsons, step daughter etc. do not apply

 

 

  1. At the point at which they apply they must also provide the SR copies of all the required supporting evidence. The supporting evidence must include, in relation to both parties:

i)               evidence of the formation of their civil partnership including evidence of their change in name if either party has changed their name/surname since when registering of their civil partnership

j)               evidence of name, date of birth and nationality

k)             evidence of place of residence

l)               evidence of immigration status if either party is not a British, a citizen of the European Economic Area or a Swiss national (at this stage the couple may not have the relevant visas in place to convert their civil partnership to marriage as they may apply for the visa after they have applied for conversion, providing to the relevant visa authority evidence that they have applied to convert. They must however, have all the relevant visas in place and the SR must have received formal notification from Customs and Immigration that, from an immigration perspective the couple are free to convert in Jersey, before the SR can issue the conversion declaration form.

m)          evidence of their sex

(a)          statement from appropriate authority in the event of an emergency or special circumstances conversion

 

Note: Immigration status

 

Jersey Customs and Immigration Service have confirmed that there is no requirement for a separate visa category in relation to conversion to marriage. A person entering Jersey for the purpose of conversion would simply apply to enter Jersey for the purpose of marriage in the same way as an individual who is not already in a civil partnership.

 

 

 

  1. The information and evidence provided must be correct at the time at which it is provided and must be provided for both parties.

 

  1. The law should provide for the SR to issue guidance setting out what documents will be accepted as supporting evidence.

 

  1. At application stage the couple can provide electronic copies of documents. These must however be copies of their original documents or copies of certified copies.

 

  1. The provision of copies is to facilitate couples to apply in advance for conversion via email or post, particularly where they are not resident in Jersey. The couple will however be required in law to provide originals in person prior to the SR issuing the conversion declaration and register entry form.

 

  1. All documents must be in English or French only. If provided in another language they must be accompanied by a certified translation.  Where a document is translated they must provide a copy of the original document and the translation

 

  1. The SR should be provided discretion to forego provision of some of the information required or to accept other documents/evidence in lieu of those set out above where it is, in the SR’s view, reasonable to do so (for example, if one of the parties does not know the name of their parents; where the information was previously provided to the SR at the point at which the couple entered into the civil partnership; where the individual has no photo ID).

 

  1. The parties must also:

(f)            inform the SR of the place where the conversation declaration is to be made and the date on which it is intended to be signed

(g)          inform the SR if a representative will be signing on their behalf

(h)          provide the SR the appropriate application fee

 

(see chapter 10: Alternative arrangements for signing forms)

 

  1. The law must:

a)            provide the Minister with powers to prescribe the fees, and

b)            set out the SR cannot process the conversion application unless the fee has been received.

 

  1. The law must provide the SR the authority to electronically store copies of all these documents.

 

  1. The law should provide that making a false statement or providing false information or evidence is a criminal offence, punishable by a five-year term (as per Art 76 (10) of the 2001 Law.

 

  1. The SR must check the information provided. The law therefore needs to allow the SR to obtain information from, and exchange information with, any authority which the SR believes is appropriate in order to assist with verification of the information provided or to determine if there may be grounds for the SR not issue the conversion declaration. This can include but is not limited to

(i)             Parish Registrars; Registrars in other jurisdictions

(j)             Customs and immigration.

 

  1. The law also needs to provide the SR authority to provide information to any appropriate authority, on their request, where that authority is seeking that information in order to verify matters relating to the civil status on an individual

 

  1. The law should also allow the SR to interview each of the partners individually or together at any point between them applying for conversion and the conversation date, in order to:

(a)          verify the formation and existence of the civil partnership

(b)          verify any of the information provided

(c)           to confirm that they:

  1. wish to change their civil partnership into a marriage and/or
  2. are capable of consenting to change their civil partnership into a marriage.

 

  1. The SR must ensure that couple are informed at the point at which their information has been check and their application has been accepted. This is to allow the couple to make any additional plans that they want to.

 

  1. Confirming acceptance of the application does not amount to the SR providing the couple permission to convert. Permission to convert is signified by the issuing of the conversion declaration form which can only be done after both parties have attended the SR in person and provide original copies of the supporting evidence/information.

 

 

Note: Provision of notice

 

Under the Civil Partnership Law notice of a civil partnership must be provided to the Superintendent Register no less than 2 weeks before the intended date of the formation of the civil partnership. That notice must be entered into the civil partnership notice book by the SR and must be displayed in the entrance to or outside the office of the SR. There is no similar requirement for notices with regard to the conversion of civil partnership to a marriage. This is because the partners are simply converting the status of the legal relationship, as opposed to forming a new legal relationship

 

 

 

Preparation and issuing of the conversion declaration and register entry form and the marriage conversion certificate

 

  1. In order for a conversion to take place, the SR must issue a conversion declaration and register entry form (this is a single form).  By issuing this form, the SR is confirming that the couple have permission to convert their civil partnership into a marriage in Jersey.

 

  1. The SR can only issue the conversion form:

(a)          after the couple have applied and

(b)          after the couple have both attended the SR’s office to provide the original documents and

(c)          after the couple have signed a copy of the original application form in front of the SR (annotating or amending any that have changed since the original application). The SR will place in their records

(d)          after the couple have signed a signature verifier in front of the SR

(e)          after the couple have paid the appropriate fee for the issuing of the conversion declaration (this being a different fee from the fee charged for processing the conversion application)

 

 

  1. Both parties to the conversion are required to sign a signature verifier in front of the SR. The SR will provide the signature verifier to the authorised individual overseeing the conversion by ceremony in order that the authorised individual can confirm the identities of the parties to the marriage at the point at which they sign the conversion declaration and marriage conversion certificates.

 

  1. The couple can attend the SR separately or together but they must bring with their own original documents. They must attend the SR’s office a maximum of 25 clear days before or a minimum of 2 clear working days before the date of the conversion to provide the original documents and sign the application form in front of the SR.

 

  1. It is possible for a couple to make an application and attend the SR to provide the original information on the same date, providing that day is 25 clear days before the date of the conversion. The Law must however provide SR the ability to make exceptions to the timeframe where the SR believes it is reasonable to do so, for example in relation to emergency conversions, illness and unavoidable travel delays etc.

 

  1. The SR will review all the original documents to ensure they are the same as those provided at application stage.

 

  1. The SR will then prepare and issue:
    1. the conversion declaration and registry entry form
    2. two copies of the marriage conversion certificate (equivalent to one per party to the marriage)
    3. the signature verifier

 

These will be issued to the authorised individual officiating the conversion, for signing at the conversion whether via the administrative route or the ceremony route.

 

  1. The SR will also be responsible for informing the relevant Parish Registrar that a conversion is due to take place in their parish at the point at which they issue the declaration form, although the Parish Registrar is not required to take any action at this point.

 

  1. The form and certificates:
    1. are documents, the minimum contents of which will may need to be prescribed in legislation (albeit the law should not be prescription with regard to size, shape etc., to allow for changes in electronic processing)
    2. can only be in English

 

Note: Use of paper

 

Whilst the law should not be prescriptive about the use of paper, consideration will be given to the use of watermarked paper for marriage certificates and certified copies. This is in order to help communicate the validity of these documents when the couple are presenting them to officials outside Jersey. Any costs arising from the use of watermarked paper will in calculated into the fees charged.

 

 

  1. The conversion declaration and registry entry form should include:
    1. information about both parties and their conversion declaration
    2. information about the authorised individual and their certification

 

  1. Both parties:

(a)          Forenames/Surname at the point at which the declaration is made

(b)          Date of birth and place of birth

(c)           Usual place of residence

(d)          Father’s/Parent’s forename(s) and surname(s) as per their birth or adoption certificate

(e)          Mother’s/Parent’s forename(s) and surname(s) as per their birth or adoption certificate

(f)            Date and place of civil partnership registration

(g)          Conversion declaration against which both parties must sign, print name and record the date of signing

 

“I solemnly declare that we are in a civil partnership with each other. I know of no legal reason why we may not convert our civil partnership into marriage.

 

I understand that on signing this document we will be converting our civil partnership into a marriage and that (name of spouse) will thereby become my lawful wife [or husband] [or spouse]”

 

  1. Information about the authorised individual

(a)           Forename/surname of authorised individual

(b)           Authorised individual’s certification against which they must sign, print their name, record the time, date and place of conversion

-                 I certify that I witnessed these parties convert their civil partnership to marriage.

 

  1. The minimum contents of the marriage conversion certificate should include, for both parties:

 

(k)           Forenames/Surname at the point at which the declaration is made

(l)             Date of birth and place of birth

(m)        Usual place of residence

(n)          Father’s/Parent’s forename(s) and surname(s)

(o)          Mother’s/Parent’s forename(s) and surname(s)

(p)          Date and place on which the civil partnership was registered

(q)          Date and place of conversion from civil partnership to marriage (this being the date on which the conversion certificate is signed)

(r)            Date from which the marriage is to be taken as to have subsisted (this being the date on which the civil partnership was registered)

(s)           Space for parties and authorised individual to print name, sign and date.

 

 

Note: Date of birth as opposed to age

 

The certificate will include the date of birth of the individual as opposed to the age. Age does not assist with identification or records management.

 

 

 

Note: Information not included on the form or certificate

 

The following information is not included in the declaration or the certificate:

  • civil status because, by default, both parties to a conversion are civil partners
  • Occupation or profession is not included because it is irrelevant to the conversion process
  • preferred designation for each of the partners (Bride; Bridegroom; no designation) although the parties declaration will be amended to include wife/husband/spouse as required.

 

 

 

  1. Whilst the form and certificate are in English, the law must allow for:

(a)          people to sign with non-English characters but must also print their first and last name in English (the characters must match those on the application form)

(b)          another individual to sign on behalf of a party where that party is unable to sign for themselves.

 

(see separate instructions on alternative arrangements for signing forms)

 

  1. The law should allow for the SR to make appropriate annotations to the form and/or certificate including, but not limited to -

 

(a)               making reference to father/father or mother/mother or parent/parent or as opposed to mother and father

(b)               where any of the information out above is to be amended to reflect changes that have occurred between the information being provided and the conversion declaration being made.

(c)                where father/mother/parent is deceased, to write “deceased” on the form

(d)               where an appropriate individual has provided a statement in relation to an emergency or special circumstances conversion

 

  1. The SR must then issue the conversion declaration and register entry form plus two copies of the marriage certificate, plus the signature verifier to the individual officiating the signing of the conversion, whether by the administrative or ceremonial conversion routes.

 

Matters relating to both administrative and ceremonial conversions

  1. The date on which the declaration is signed is to be known as the conversion date.

 

  1. The days and hours on which a conversion can take place are the same as for marriages. The States should however be provided the powers to vary days and hours by Regulation (for marriage and conversions)

 

  1. Whilst the law should provide that a conversion can take place in location approved for civil and religious weddings on any of the days or times allowed for in law, it should not place an obligation any authorised individual to ensure that it does (i.e. a couple cannot insist their conversion takes place at any particular place, or on any date or time).

 

  1. Additional witnesses, over and above the authorised individual, are not required for the signing of conversion declaration. This is because two witnesses were present at the original registration of the civil partnership.

 

  1. For the purposes of clarity, the law must set out that it is the signing of the declaration by the couple and by the authorised individual, as opposed to the speaking of the words, that converts the civil partnership to marriage. (Similarly the Law should be set out that marriage is formed on signing of the Marriage Return and Register entry form, as opposed the speaking of the marriage declaration).

 

  1. No authorised individual can officiate a conversion of a civil partnership, either by the administrative routes or the ceremonial route to which they are a party.

 

Signing the declaration via the Administrative process

The Law needs to provide a simple, “no-fuss” process for signing the declaration. This is to be known as the ‘administrative process’ and is aimed at couples who simply want a straight forward (i.e. without a ceremony) way to convert their civil partnership to a marriage. The administrative procedure is:

 

  1. The couple make an appointment with the SR to sign the form in the presence of the SR or Deputy.  Both partners must attend that appointment.

 

  1. The couple must pay the appropriate fee for administrative conversion (this being in addition to the fee paid in relation to the application process and the issuing of the marriage schedule)

 

  1. form must be signed by both partners plus the SR or deputies in the presence on each other, in the place and on the date set out in the declaration. The SR or deputies must check the identity against the signatures on the signature verifier.

 

  1. The signing will take place in the SR’s office unless special or emergency circumstances apply (see separate instructions)

 

  1. There will be no ceremony associated with the administrative route (e.g.: no music, guests etc.) except that the couple must speak the words of the declaration set out below to each other (unless by dint of special circumstances such as a disability or impairment they are unable to do so).

 

  1. A couple may choose to convert their civil partnership via the administrative route and follow this with a marriage blessing (this may be the case, for example, where they wish a religious blessing from a religious official who, under the quadruple lock, will not undertake same-sex marriages). Where there is a blessing, this does not in any way supersede or invalidate the conversion process. The date of conversion shall be that set out on the conversion declaration and as recorded in the Conversion register.

 

  1. The couple will sign:
    1. 1 x conversion declaration and register entry form. The SR or deputy officiating will be responsible for taking the signed form, keeping a copy for SR’s records and then delivering the signed form to the relevant Parish Registrar.

 

  1. 2 x marriage conversion certificates. The certificates, one per party, will be taken by the parties to the conversion.

 

Signing the declaration at a conversion ceremony

The Law needs to provide for civil partners, who want to, to convert their civil partnership to a marriage to do so at a conversion ceremony. A conversion ceremony will, in most cases, be similar in format to a wedding ceremony. The ceremonial conversion process is:

 

  1. Rather than attending the office of the SR to sign the conversion declaration (as per the administrative process) the couple can choose to sign it as part of a ceremony to be held in either:

 

Authorised individual

Where

  • the SR or their deputies

 

Any location approved for civil marriage/civil partnership

  • an authorised civil celebrant

 

Any location approved for civil marriage/civil partnership

  • an authorised religious official (but only in accordance with the quadruple lock)

 

Any location approved for religious marriage where the religious organisation agrees to same-sex marriage ceremonies subject to the quadruple lock

  • an Anglican Minister (but only in accordance with the quadruple lock)

 

Any location approved for Anglican marriage where the religious organisation agrees to same-sex marriage ceremonies subject to the quadruple lock

 

  1. The couple must speak the following declaration to each other:

 

“I (name) solemnly declare that I am in a civil partnership with you (name) and I know of no legal reason why we may not convert our civil partnership into marriage.

 

I understand that in making this declaration I will be converting my civil partnership into a marriage and you (name) will thereby become my lawful wife [or husband] [or spouse]”

 

  1. The couple will sign:
    1. 1 x conversion declaration and register entry form. The SR, deputy or authorised individual officiating will be responsible for taking the signed form and delivering to the SR, in order that the SR can keep a copy for their records and then delivering the signed form to the relevant Parish Registrar.

 

  1. 2 x marriage conversion certificates. The certificates, one per party, will be taken by the parties to the conversion.

 

  1. The authorised individual must check the identity against the signatures on the signature verifier form provided by the SR. The authorised individual must return the signature verifier along with signed declaration to the SR.

 

  1. The law must allow that, in addition to the fees charged by the SR, the authorised individual officiating the conversion ceremony may also charge a fee. The SR is not however responsible for the collection of this fee, unless the authorised individual is the SR or a deputy (the fee schedule must provide for the fees charged by the SR when the SR is officiating at a conversion ceremony)

 

Certified copies of conversion certificates

 

  1. The SR will update of their records at the point at which the authorised individual returns the signed declaration to them. The SR, from the point at which their records are updated, may issue certified copies of the marriage certificate. This is regardless of whether or not, at that point in time, the Parish Registrar has place in the conversion declaration in the marriage conversion register. The law should provide the SR powers to charge for certified copies.

 

 

  1. From the point at which the Parish Registrar has included the signed conversion declaration and register entry forms into that register, the Parish Registrar may also issue certified copies. The law should provide the SR powers to charge for certified copies.

 

Annotation of civil partnership registers

  1. Where the couples’ civil partnership was registered in Jersey, the SR must arrange for the relevant civil partnership registers to be annotated, as soon as practically possible after the conversion form has been placed in the marriage conversion registrar, with the words:

 

“converted to marriage on (date) at (place)

 

  1. This may involve the SR annotating any registers or records in their possession, instructing the relevant Parish Register to annotate their records. There will be no fee associated in the annotation of registers, as the work involved is minimal and any annotation is presumed to form part of the original registration fee.

 

 

Registration of conversions

 

  1. The law must place a requirement on Parish Registrars:

(a)          to keep a marriage conversion register

(b)          to place all conversion declaration and register entry forms into that register as soon as it is practically possible after the signed form has been received from the SR

 

  1. From the point at which the conversion is registered in the conversion register no authority is allowed to issue any certified copies or extracts relating to the civil partnership that has now been converted into marriage unless they have been annotated accordingly to show the conversion

 

Fees

 

  1. The Minister will need to be able to provide for fees which may be charged by the SR in relation to:

(a)          processing the conversion application

(b)          the preparation of the conversation declaration form and the two copies of the marriage conversion certificate

(c)           the preparation of emergency or special circumstances declaration forms (see separate instructions)

(d)          overseeing the signing of the conversion declaration via the administrative route or the undertaking a conversation ceremony in the event that the SR or deputies are to act as celebrant[7]

(e)          the issuing of a certified copy of marriage certificate by the SR or the Parish Registrar

(f)            the placing of the signed conversion form in the conversion registrar and the annotation of the civil partnerships registrar by the Parish Registrar (note: the SR will levy this fee on behalf of the Parish Registrar and forward to them on a quarterly basis) 

 

  1. Where the conversion is via administrative process and where it takes place before 31 December 2019, the SR will not make any charge (this includes levying a charge for Parish Registrar to update the conversation registrar). This does not however include charges relating to the provision of certified copies of the conversion certificates.

 

  1. The date of 31 December 2019 is two years from the date on which it is intended to bring same-sex marriage legislation into force. In the event this legislation is delayed, the date of 31 December 2019 will need adjusting accordingly.

 

  1. The fee schedule and any charges:

(a) must be developed in consultation with the SR

(b) should not allow for the reimbursement of any fees where the conversion does not go ahead, unless the reasons why it cannot go head is the responsibility of the SR.

 

Note: Fees

 

There will be no fee for administrative conversions that take place before 31 December 2019 (i.e. two years from the date at which same-sex marriage came into effect).

 

This is because the administrative conversion option has been developed in order to support couples who were previously denied access to same-sex marriage but who have already paid the fees associated with the registration of their civil partnership.

 

 

 


Chapter 8: Emergency and special circumstances marriage conversion

 

Section 1: Introduction

 

  1. The amended law needs to provide for emergency conversion from civil partnership to marriage, and for conversion under special circumstances.

 

  1. Emergency conversion is one which is taking place where there is an expectation of death within a very short time, as opposed to where the individual is not expected to recover or is unable to leave hospital but is not in immediate danger of dying. Where the individual is not in immediate danger of dying, the usual processes and timeframes relating to conversion will apply.

 

  1. Special circumstances conversion: This is where the usual conversion processes and timeframes will apply, albeit there are special circumstances that mean that exceptions needs to be made to in relation to the location of that conversion.

 

  1. This chapter sets out instructions to the Law Draftsman on amendments to the 2001 Law in order to make the necessary provisions.

 

Section 2: Instructions in relation to emergency conversion

 

  1. As per the standard conversion process, one or both of the parties to the conversion or a representative need to apply to the SR (complete a conversion application form, providing copies all the relevant information and provide all the original documentation that needs to be provided in relation to both parties).
  2. The law needs to provide the SR to forgo provision of some of the documentation required where, in the SR’s view it is reasonable to do so, although this cannot include foregoing evidence of the existence of the civil partnership or immigration status.

 

  1. Under the emergency process however only one, as opposed to both of the parties needs attend the SR to provide original documentation and appropriate fee, sign the original application form and signature verifier in front of the SR.

 

  1. Where neither party can attend the SR to provide the documentation, either because both parties are dying and/or are housebound and/or the circumstances of the emergency do not readily permit it, the Law needs to provide that:

(c)           the SR can attend them, in which case both parties can sign the relevant documents in front of the SR or

(d)          a representative of the couple may provide all the original documentation on their behalf.

 

  1. If only one of the parties or if representative provided the information on behalf of the parties, this must be recorded on the marriage schedule as this indicates that the SR has been unable to verify the original documents in the presence of both parties.

 

  1. The conversion application form must be accompanied by a statement from an appropriate authority which sets out that in relation to the dying party:

d)             there is an expectation of death

e)             that the dying party cannot be moved to an authorised place of conversion

f)               that the dying party is of sound mind and can understand the nature of conversion and the associated declarations

 

(See Appendix 1 for sample of authorised statement)

  1. The appropriate authority will, in most cases be, the registered medical practitioner responsible for the care of the dying party

 

  1. That supporting statement must have been made no more than 14 days before it received by the SR.

 

  1. Receipt of this statement must be recorded on the conversion declaration form

 

  1. The appropriate fee will also need to be provided. The Law must provide the Minister powers to set out what those fees are. (Consideration will be given as to whether those fees should be different from non-emergency fees i.e. they could be set at £0)

 

  1. On verification of the application form and documentation the SR can immediately issue the conversion declaration form and the marriage conversion certificates to the authorise official overseeing the conversion (i.e. the SR can disapply the timeframes that apply in relation to non-emergency conversion.).

 

  1. The conversion can be:

a)             via the administrative route (i.e. the authorised official is the SR or their deputy) albeit they can attend the couple as opposed to the couple attending the SR’s office, or

b)             via the ceremonial route (i.e. the authorised official can be someone other than the SR or their deputy, plus there can be music and other elements of ceremony)

 

  1. Both parties must be present at the conversion.

 

  1. As with non-emergency conversions the quadruple lock applies with regard to authorised religious officials and Anglican ministers

 

  1. An emergency conversion can take place any time 24 hours a day. It can take place in:

(a)          any location where the unwell person is if that person is housebound or

(b)          in any location approved for civil marriage if the unwell person is not housebound

 

  1. The marriage conversion process already allows for:

a)             individuals who cannot sign or make a mark to nominate a representative to do so on their behalf

b)             individuals who cannot speak the declaration, by dint of illness or impairment, to forego speaking the words of the declaration

 

  1. The registration processes for emergency conversion will remain as per non-emergency conversion.

 

Section 3: Instructions in relation special circumstances conversion

 

  1. The law must provide for the fact that people may want to convert their civil partnership to marriage at a point in their lives when special circumstance apply. These circumstances being, for example:

 

a)                  one or both of the parties are housebound and an appropriate authority has provided a statement confirming that the parties is housebound and ought not to be moved from the place where he or she is, and that it is likely that they will not be able to be moved for at least three months from the conversion date

b)                  one or both of the partners are detained (prison or under the mental health act) and a responsibility authority has provided a statement confirming their detainment

 

  1. Both parties to the conversion need to sign the conversion application form and the relevant supporting original documentation needs to be provided in relation to both parties.

 

  1. The law needs to provide the SR to forgo provision of some of the documentation required where, in the SR’s view it is reasonable to do so, although this cannot include foregoing evidence of the existence of the civil partnership.

 

  1. Only one, as opposed to both of the parties, needs attend the SR to provide original documentation.

 

  1. Where neither party can attend the SR to provide the original documentation because both are housebound or detained the Law needs to provide flexibility so that

(e)          the SR can attend them or

(f)            an appropriate representative of the couple may provide the original documentation on their behalf.

 

  1. If only one of the parties or if representative provided the information on behalf of the parties this must be recorded on the application form, as this indicates that the SR has been unable to verify the original document in the presence of both parties.

 

  1. Whilst the law should provide the SR with general powers to disapply the timeframes associated conversion, it is not anticipated that this will necessary be required in relation to special circumstances conversions unlike emergency conversions.

 

  1. Statement from the appropriate authority must be submitted to the SR alongside the signed application form.

 

  1. Where the person is:

(f)            detained in a hospital the appropriate authority is the hospital manager

(g)          detained in a prison or secure accommodation centre, the appropriate authority is the prison governor or another officer with responsible for the prison or place of secure accommodation

(h)          housebound the appropriate authority is a registered medical practitioner providing care to the housebound party

 

  1. That supporting statement must have been made no more than 14 days before it is received by the SR.

 

  1. Receipt of this statement must be recorded on the conversion declaration form.

 

  1. The supporting statement must set out in relation to the detained party:

a)             where the person detained

b)             that the person will be detained for at least three months following the date on which the statement is made

c)             that the responsibly authority has not objection to the SR or their deputy or an authorised celebrant attending the establishment to convert the civil partnership (where there is to be an authorised celebrant, as opposed to the SR or their deputy, they must be named on the statement and the responsibility authority must approve that person as suitable)

d)             that, in relation to a patient detained under mental health legislation, that the party is of sound mind and can understand the nature of conversion and the associated declarations

 

  1. The supporting statement must set out in relation to a housebound party:

a)             The place where the party is housebound

b)             That due to illness or disability, the party ought not to be moved from the place where he or she is at the time the statement is made

c)             That it is likely to be the case that they are ought not to move or be moved from that place for a least three months from the date of the statement.

 

  1. The appropriate fee will also need to be provided. The Law must provide the Minister powers to set out what those fees are.

 

  1. The conversion can be:

a)             via the administrative route (i.e. the celebrant is the SR or their deputy) albeit the celebrant will attend the couple as opposed to the couple attending the SR’s office, or

b)             via the ceremonial route (i.e. the celebrant can be an authorised celebrant, the SR or their deputy, plus there can be music and other elements of ceremony). As set out above, where the person is detained and where the conversion is to be officiated by an authorised celebrant, the responsibility authority must approve that authorised celebrant).

 

  1. As with all other conversions the quadruple lock applies with regard to non-Anglican religious celebrants and Anglican ministers

 

  1. Both parties must be present at the conversion

 

  1. A special circumstances conversion can only take place in:

(c)           the location where the housebound party is

(d)          the location where the detained party is detained (in the event that both parties are detained and are detained in different locations the authorities responsible for their detention would need to make the necessary arrangements to transport the detained persons so they can be together in one of the places of detention and would, therefore, be responsible for taking the decision as to whether it is feasible/appropriate/safe to so do)

(e)          The days and hours on which a special circumstances conversion can take place are the same as for marriages. The States should however be provided the powers to vary days and hours by Regulation (for marriage and conversions)

 

  1. The marriage conversion process already allows for:

a)             individuals who cannot sign or make a mark to nominate a representative to do so on their behalf

b)             individuals who cannot speak the declaration, by dint of illness or impairment, to forego speak the words of the declaration

 

  1. The registration processes for special circumstances conversions will remain as per non-emergency conversions

 


Appendix 1: Sample statement in relation to emergency conversion

 

 

The statement must be:

  • on headed paper, signed and dated
  • be from an appropriate authority. In relation to an emergency marriage this must be registered medical practitioner who responsible for the care of the patient.

 

Re:………… (name of intended party to the conversion)

 

I am writing to confirm the following points with regards to the proposed marriage of the above name patient:

 

  1. I am the doctor in medical attendance on the above named patient;

 

  1. The above named patient is seriously ill and there is an expectation of death within the next three months.

 

The above name patient is of sound mind and understands the nature of marriage and the nature of declaration of marriage. The nature of the declaration being able to confirm that they are in a civil partnership with other party and they know of no legal reason why they may convert their civil partnership into marriage.

 

 

The above named patient:

 

  • can move to a place where a civil marriage is normally solemnized or

 

  • cannot move to a place where marriage is normally solemnized and requires the authorised civil celebrant or authorised religious official solemnizing the marriage to attend them at …………. (name of location)

 

(tick as appropriate)

 

 

  1. I confirm that I am registered medical practitioner

 

Registering authority………………..

Registration or reference number ……………………………..

Date:……………………

 

 


Chapter 9: Place of marriage

 

 

Section 1: Introduction

 

  1. This chapter sets out the instructions to the Law Draftsman to amend the Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law 2001 (the “2001 Law”) and the Marriage and Civil Status (Approved Premises) (Jersey) Order 2002 (the “2002 Order”) to allow marriages to take place outdoors in Jersey.

 

  1. Whilst the primary law will need to be amended to provide for couples to get married in an outdoor location, most of the detail set out below should be included in secondary legislation and guidance.

 

  1. Policy aim

 

  1. To allow for couples, who are free to get married in Jersey, to be able to get married in an outdoor location if they wish to do so, providing the outdoor location is an approved location. This includes couples:
  1. who are opposite-sex or same-sex
  2. who are having a civil wedding or a conversion ceremony
  3. who are having a religious wedding including, but not limited to, an Anglican wedding
  4. where either one or both partners, are Jersey resident or non-Jersey resident.

 

  1. To provide for a system for approving those locations in order to ensure that they uphold the dignity and solemnity of marriage.

 

  1. To provide for a system which, in accordance with the quadruple lock, ensures that a same-sex marriage cannot be solemnized in a place of public religious worship unless that place of public religious worship has been specifically approved for same-sex marriage.
  1. The concept of approved locations is instead of approved premises (as per Art 18 of the 2001 Law) and registered buildings (as per Art 15 of the 2001 Law)

 

Section 2: Background

 

Terms used in these introductions

 

Administering authority This is the body which administers ‘public’ land or premises including where the authority holds a licence to administer private land in relation to permitting public rights of way; for example:

-          the Ports of Jersey and Jersey Property Holdings are administering authorities for land which is owned by the public of Jersey

-          Jersey Property Holdings holds licenses in relation to public footpaths across private land.

 

Approving authority: The approving authority is the authority that approves locations for the solemnization of marriage.

 

Governing authority: A governing authority is the governing authority of a recognised and established religious organisation.

 

Relevant authority: A relevant authority is an authority which, under Jersey law, grants permission or licences in relation to use of locations or the organisation of events or entertainment or associated components of events of entertainments (for example: alcohol, fireworks, serving of food) for example:

  1. the Economic Development Minister in relation to beaches (Policing of Beaches (Jersey Regulations) 1959
  2. relevant Park authority (The Policing of Parks (Jersey) Regulations 2005), the Infrastructure Minister in relation to the Road and Events law;
  3. the Infrastructure Department in relation to roads
  4. the Bailiff’s Panel in relation entertainment licences (Unlawful Entertainment Regulations)
  5. the relevant alcohol licencing authority.

Persons organising any given marriage: this could include the parties to the marriage or, in the event they have contracted an events organiser, that events organiser, including where that event organiser is the proprietor, trustee, managing agent or administering authority of a location.

 

 

 

Associated permissions/licencing processes

 

The introduction of open-air weddings creates a number of logistical challenges vis-à-vis use of locations for other events and activities plus public rights of way. It also has ramifications in relation to authorisation/control of use processes set out in other pieces of legislations, including:

a)             the Economic Development Minister in relation to beaches (Policing of Beaches (Jersey Regulations) 1959

b)             relevant Park authority (The Policing of Parks (Jersey) Regulations 2005), the Infrastructure Minister in relation to the Road and Events law;

c)             the Bailiff’s Panel in relation entertainment licences (Unlawful Entertainment Regulations)[8]

d)             the relevant alcohol licencing authority

e)             any relevant authority in relation to fireworks etc.

As set out above, there is a plethora of legislation relating to events management, which gives rise to legitimate concerns that the existing complexity hinders, rather than supports, the management of risk in relation to public safety, in addition to making it hard for events organisers to navigate all the associated requirements.

 

All of the above therefore indicates that there is a need to introduce a centralized events licensing system which:

f)               is fit for purpose and easy to navigate for individuals and organizations running events

g)             ensures that full and proper consideration is given to public safely

h)             prevents “double-booking” of spaces in the public domain

i)               ensure that all events in the public domain are appropriate and do not have an unduly negative impact of other users

 

It is envisaged that work will shortly commence on the development of that new centralized system in order to ensure that it has been put in place before July 2019 (this being the point at which the tri-annual Unlawful Entertainment Regulations are due for renewal).

In the meantime, however, the amended Marriage and Civil Status Law need to provide for the approved of locations in such a way as to facilitate the development of this new system. Therefore, the provisions relating to the approval of locations for the solemnization of marriage (and associated appeals process) should, wherever possible, be set out in secondary legislation and/or supplementary guidance as opposed to in the primary law. The primary law should, to the event that it is possible to do so, do little more than state that:

a)             marriages can only be solemnized in approved locations (with the exception of marriage solemnized under emergency or special circumstances procedures) and that;

b)             approval only relates to the dignity and solemnity of marriage (ie.it is not a statement that the venue is safe or devoid of public nuisance) and that;

c)             same-sex marriage can only be solemnized in a public place of public religious worship where the relevant governing authority of the place of public religious worship has consented to the solemnization of same-sex marriage at that location, and that;

d)             the Minister must determine the associated process under which locations are approved including ensuring that there is an appropriate authority in place to approve those locations.

 

Note:

Consideration was given to providing additional flexibility by allowing the States Assembly to change the approving authority by Regulations. This proposal was, however, rejected by the Comite de Connetable.

 

 

 

 

Over of application process

It is envisaged that, over a period of time, the ability to get married outdoors in Jersey could result in more companies offering marriage planning services in Jersey, particularly with regard securing on behalf of couples the permissions they need to get married in the location of their choice.

 

It will however take some time for this market to grow and, in the meantime, pending the development of centralized events booking system, it is envisaged that the application process will be as set out in Appendix 1.

 

 

 

Section 3: Instructions

 

Approving authority

 

  1. The law needs to provide that:

a)             an civil or non-Anglican religious marriage (or marriage conversion) cannot be solemnized at any location other than an approved location (unless the Emergency or Special Circumstances arrangements apply) and that;

b)             a same-sex marriage or civil partnership or marriage conversion cannot take place in a place of public religious worship by a recognised and established religious organisation unless that location has been specifically approved for same-sex ceremonies and that;

c)             Anglican churches do not need to be approved locations for the solemnization of Anglican marriages that are being solemnized under licence of the Dean (unless that was to be in relation to a same-sex couple).

 

  1. The law needs to state that the approving authority is the Constable of the relevant parish and needs to require the Minister in secondary legislation, to set out the processes in relation to:
  1. the approval of locations for the solemnization of marriage plus an associated appeals process
  2. the registration of approved locations
  3. the revoking of approvals.

 

 

  1. The law needs to set out that where the approving authority is responsible for any actions or decision making they can make arrangements to delegate these to person who will act on their behalf. This is to allow as much flexibility as possible given that the potential changes to the systems of events management in Jersey.

 

  1. Where the approving authority is the applicant for approval (or an individual is applying for on the behalf of the approving authority) the application must be referred to the Home Affairs Minister. The approving authority may still grant approval but only with the permission of the Minister and subject to any conditions that the Minister considers reasonable (this is broadly as per Art 8 of the 2002 Order)

 

  1. In approving a location, the approving authority is required to ensure that the location, in the view of the approving authority, upholds the dignity and solemnity of marriage. In this context solemn means characterised by deep sincerity (i.e. to make a solemn promise) as opposed to grave or dour;

 

  1. The approving authority’s approval:
    1. relates only to the solemnization of marriage. It does not include approval for wedding receptions and parties
    2. only relates to the general principle that marriages may be solemnized at that location as it upholds the dignity and solemnity of marriage
    3. does not signify that the location is safe for any configuration of ceremony (e.g.: 5 guests as opposed to 200 etc.) or under any particular conditions (e.g.: tide times; weather conditions etc.). This includes in relation to named marriage approval only (see below)
    4. does not signify that the location is devoid of public nuisance
    5. does not signify that other land users will not be using that location whilst weddings are being solemnized
    6. does not signify that any relevant authority should or will give permission/licence for any given marriage ceremony to take place at that location, or that they should or will prioritise the solemnization of marriage over and above permissions/licences to other land users.

 

  1. The approving authority’s approval of a location does not negate the requirement on persons organising any given marriage to ensure that they have all other required permissions/licences in place as issued by other relevant authorities.

 

  1. It is for

a)             the persons organising any given wedding to determine safety in relation to that wedding and/or

b)             the other relevant authorities giving approval for a given wedding to determine safety in relation to that wedding, where the legislation under which they operate requires them to give consideration to public safety.

 

  1. This will include safety in relation to: 
    1. the couple, the celebrant and witnesses
    2. any guests attending the wedding
    3. any members of the public who may be drawn into watching the wedding if it is taking place in a public space.

 

 


Approval in relation to same-sex and opposite-sex marriage

 

  1. The primary law should set out that a location can be approved for:

(a)          civil & religious weddings and marriage conversion ceremonies and civil partnership ceremony (to be referred to as civil & religious weddings in these instructions) or

(b)          religious weddings only, but only if that place is a place of public religious worship.

 

  1. A location can be granted:

 

Approval for same-sex couples

Approved for solmization of marriage by which authorise celebrants?

general approval: civil & religious weddings

 

Yes – in all cases.

Any celebrant inc:

-          SR and all authorised civil celebrants

-          All authorised religious celebrants

-          All Anglican ministers

general approval: religious weddings only

Yes - but only with the written consent of the relevant governing authority of the place of public religious worship

Only authorised religious celebrants of the denomination set out in the approving authority’s approval.

named wedding approval: civil or religious

 

Yes – for civil wedding

 

Yes for religious wedding, if in accordance with the quadruple lock

Any celebrant inc:

SR and all authorised civil celebrants

All authorised religious celebrants

All Anglican ministers

 

 

 

  1. The Law must provide that:

a)             a location that is approved for civil & religious marriages is approved for same-sex marriage and opposite-sex marriage (i.e. it cannot be approved just for opposite-sex marriage)

b)             a location cannot be approved just for religious marriage unless it is a place of public religious worship for a recognised and established religion (i.e. locations which are not places of public religious worship cannot be approved only for opposite-sex marriage)


 

 

Quadruple lock (See Appendix 2: sample application form)

 

  1. Where a location is a place of public religious worship for a recognised and established religion it may be approved just for the solemnization of opposite-sex marriage or for opposite-sex and same-sex marriage, but an application for approval in relation to same-sex marriage may not be made by the proprietor/trustee of that place unless the relevant governing authority has given written consent to marriages of same-sex couples – i.e., the relevant governing authority has opted in.

 

  1. The amended law must further provide that the approving authority cannot approve a location which is a place of public religious worship for the solemnization of same-sex marriages unless the application for approval includes:

c)             a certificate from the proprietor/trustee confirming that the relevant governing authority has consented and

d)             a copy of the written consent of the relevant governing authority.

 

  1. As set out in chapter 1, Quadruple Lock, a governing authority or a proprietor/trustee of a religious organisation cannot be compelled to apply for approval in relation to same-sex marriage.

 

  1. The amended law must make it clear, however, that the ability to opt-in, in relation to a solemnization of same-sex marriage in a place of public religious worship does not apply in respect of marriage according to the rites of the Church of England.

 

Note: Same-sex marriage

 

The law needs to ensure the same-sex couples are not discriminated against whilst at the same time, ensuring that religious organisations that have not “opted-in” to same-sex marriage are not compelled provide for the solemnization of marriages between same-sex couples on their locations.

 

A religious organisation can therefore apply for their locations to be used for:

  • only religious weddings. This can include between same-sex where the religious organisation and official has opted in to same-sex marriage (i.e. the religious organisation wishes to solemnized marriage between same-sex couples at its locations in accordance with the rights of its religion)

 

  • religious and civil weddings. This must include civil weddings between opposite-sex and same-sex couples and can include same-sex religious weddings where the religious organisation and official has opted in to same-sex marriage.

 

 

 

 

Certification as a place of public religious worship (See Appendix 2: sample application form)

 

  1. As set out in chapter 1 Quadruple lock, where a location is a place of public religious worship which has not already been approved for the solemnization of marriage (i.e.: is a registered building under the current 2001 Law) it must be certificated as a place of public religious worship in order for it to be approved for the solemnization of marriage.

 

  1. The law should provide the Minister powers to specify the form of application in relation to certification as a place of public religious worship, which may include:

 

a)             certification by the proprietor/trustee that the doors of the place of public religious worship are open to the public where there are doors, or where there are not doors, that the public are not exclude from the place, and

b)             Certification by the proprietor/trustee that it is a place of public religious worship of a religious organisation that is established in Jersey, or,

c)             where the religious organisation is not a recognised and established religious organisation in Jersey or where the Approving Authority may require it, certification by at least 20 households that the place is their usual place of public religious worship and that they request that the place should be registered for the solemnization of marriage between opposite-sex couples only or marriages between opposite-sex couples and a same-sex couples. (Note the Approving authority may require is where, for example, they are concerned that the place is not a place of worship but it potentially being presented as such in order to by-pass requirements to marry same-sex couples unless a place of public religious worship).

 

  1. A place of public religious worship by a recognised and established religion organisation does not include:

a)             locations that may be used for worship on an incidental basis (for example: a prayer group hires or uses the same venue on a weekly basis, but that venue is also hired by others for other purposes)

b)             Parish Halls

 

  1. A place of public religious worship could include a location which is leased by a recognised and established religion primarily as a place of public religious worship, regardless of whether they sub-lease or allow it to be used for other purposes (for example: The Jersey Muslim Society leases a venue to use as a mosque but hires it out to a Judo club once a week).  This would, however, only apply during the period in which it was being leased primarily as a place of public religious worship.

 

  1. A place of public religious worship may be shared by two or more religious organisations. Where this is the case, an application for approved for the solemnization of same-sex marriage must;

a)             provide details of the name of each religious organisation sharing that place, and

b)             certify whether or not each of relevant governing authorities for each religious organisation has consented to solemnization of marriages between same-sex couples, and

c)             certify whether or not each of the governing authorities for each religious has consented to the place to be used for solemnization of marriages between same-sex couples

 

  1. The proprietor/ trustee applying for approval must make that certification and must include in the application a copy of the written consents from the relevant governing authorities.

 

  1. The law should set out that a shared place of public religious worship may only be approved if:

a)             at least one of the relevant governing authorities’ consents to same-sex marriage and

b)             each of the other relevant governing authorities’ consents to same-sex marriage being solemnized at that place.

 

Types of location

 

  1. The law should set out that a location for the solemnization of marriage can include:

(a)          an open-air location,

(b)          a non-permanent location

(c)           a permanent location, or any combination thereof.

 

  1. A location can be a whole or separate location or can form part of another location (e.g.: the whole of headland, or a specific part of a headland; the whole of a building or given number of rooms in a building)

 

  1. Where a location forms part of a building or part of a larger location, as opposed to a whole building or location, part may be approved for civil & religious marriage and part for just religious marriage, but only where the part approved just for religious weddings is a place of public religious worship

 

  1. A location for a marriage can be situated in one or more Parishes.

 

  1. An open-air location can include a sea beach, or a specific area on a sea beach.

 

  1. A non-permanent location can include structures such as marquees and gazebos and movable structures such as aeroplanes, trains or boats, providing:
    1. the structure is moored/parked throughout the duration of the ceremony
    2. has been moored/parked at least 1 hour prior[9] to the ceremony in order that any member of the public may enter the boat etc. in order to attend; and will be moored/parked for sufficient time after the end of the ceremony to permit any member of the public who may attend to depart.

 

  1. A permanent location is a location which includes, for example a separate building (e.g.: a hall) or part of another building (e.g.: a room in a hotel) or a permanent structure (e.g.: a permanently erected gazebo).

 

 

Name marriage approval

 

  1. Any couples’ civil or religious wedding can take place at a general approval location (in accordance with the quadruple lock). Only a named couple’s civil or religious wedding can take place at a named marriage location.

 

  1. A named marriage location could include, for example, private property such as the couple’s home or garden. A location cannot be approved only for a named marriage where that location could be used by other couples (for example, a beach, a restaurant which is generally accessible by the public).  This is to ensure that some couples are not given access to locations which other are denied access to, unless there are very clear reasons to do so (i.e. it the Couple’s uncle’s field and he only intends that his niece should get married there, not any other couples).

 

 

General approval

 

  1. Where a location is approved for both civil & religious weddings the law must set out that this must allow the location to be used for:

a)             Civil weddings

b)             Non-Anglican religious wedding

c)             Anglican weddings

d)             Marriage conversion and civil partnership ceremonies

 

This must include in relation to same-sex and opposite-sex couples (although subject to the quadruple lock no religious official or Anglican Minister can be compelled to solemnize a same-sex marriage at that location or any other location).

 

Public access

  1. All locations approved by the approving authority must be accessible by the public, including those approved only for named marriages for a least 1 hour prior to the ceremony and throughout the duration of the ceremony.

 

Note: Public access

 

If a couple are getting married in their own living room, for example, they must allow public access whilst the marriage ceremony is taking place.

 

Allowing any person to attend a wedding ceremony who wishes to attend helps prevent against clandestine marriage. This provides safeguards against forced marriage, sham marriage or marriages between people who are not legally free to marry.

 

Whilst it is understood that this provides no protection against attendance by deliberately disruptive individuals, it remains an essential safeguard.

 

  1. The law must provide that where a location is not accessible by the public, the approving authority can approve the location but only if the Minister determines that there are sufficiently compelling circumstances to do so. This could include, for example: the prison; parts of the hospital or hospice where safety, security or care considerations restrict access.

 

 


Application process

 

 

  1. The law should require the Minister to put in place an application process. The details of that process should, however, be provided for secondary legislation or, wherever appropriate, in supplementary guidance issued by the SR in consultation with the Minister and the approving authority.  This is to allow flexibility in light of the envisaged development of a centralised event management system for Jersey. This includes the procedures relating to the;

a)             application process

b)             appeals process

c)             registration of approved locations

d)             revoking of approvals.

 

 

  1. An application for approval may be made by:

a)      a proprietor/trustee or the managing agent of a location

b)      a relevant authority

c)      an administering authority

d)      any other person (e.g.: a wedding planner or a party to a marriage)

 

  1. In making an application, the applicant must clearly set out the capacity in which they are making the application.

 

  1. The law should provide that the applicant must set out the approval they are seeking:

a)      name marriage approval

b)      general marriage approval

c)      civil & religious weddings

d)      religious weddings only (as the location is a place of public religious worship)

 

  1. If applying for a named marriage, the applicant must provide the name of the couple and the proposed date of marriage (the date may be changed at a later stage)

 

  1. Where the applicant:

a)             is the proprietor/trustee, managing agent or administering authority of a location (or is acting on their behalf), they must provide details of a responsible person

b)             is applying in relation to a named marriage, they must also provide details of a responsible person

 

(See section on responsible persons below)

 

  1. Where the applicant is not the proprietor/trustee, managing agent or administering authority, they should provide details of the proprietor/trustee, managing agent or administering authority if known.

 

  1. Where the application relates to a place of public religious worship (see sample application form at Appendix 2)

a)             the applicant must state the appropriate denomination/s and

b)             where it is intended that same-sex marriages are to be solemnized at that place of public religious worship, the application must be accompanied by the written consent of the governing authority.

 

  1. All applications must be accompanied by a location plan. The supplementary guidance should set out that the plan must clearly indicate:

a)             where the proposed location is on the Island (extract of the Jersey map) and

b)             the boundaries to which the application applies, for example:

  1. whether the application applies to an entire building or specific rooms in a building (names of buildings/rooms and associated floor plans)
  2. specific areas on beach, field boundaries etc. (extract of Jersey map and written description)

 

  1. The law will need to provide for the Minister to bring forward an Order setting out the fees to be paid in relation to the approval of locations. This may include in relation to any costs incurred in relation to:

a)             processing and determining the application, including any associated consultation

b)             managing an appeal

c)             registering the approval

d)             revoking the approval.

 

This includes where those costs are incurred by the approving authority, the SR or any other relevant authority.

 

  1. The law should set out that the processing and determination of an application for approval, or appeal or for revocation cannot commence unless the specified fee has been received.
  2. The approving authority may decline to process an application if it relates to a location which has already been rejected. In this event, any application fee will be returned to the applicant.
  3. The applicant must provide as part of their application any such additional information as the approving authority may reasonably require to determine the application.
  4. In addition, in determining an application the approving authority may:

a)             may visit a location for purpose of inspecting it in relation to its solemnity and dignity or request an appropriate representative to so. In the event that the approving authority (or the approving authority’s representative is denied access to the location by proprietors, trustees, managing agent or where relevant, any tenets of the location) the approving authority may choose not to approve that location.

b)             may consult any other authority that the approving authority consider relevant to their determination, including for example;

  1. the SR
  2. Constable of adjoining parishes
  3. the Home Affairs Minister
  4. Economic Development Minister
  5. relevant Park authority
  6. Infrastructure Minister in relation to the Road and Events law;
  7. the Bailiff’s Panel
  8. the relevant alcohol licencing authority
  9. the relevant authority in relation to fireworks.

 

c)             may consult neighbouring owners or businesses if the approving authority considers it relevant to their determination

 

d)             must give due consideration to any written objections that the approving authority receives prior to the determination of the application (note: the law should not however require the approving authority or the applicant to pro-actively undertake any processes associated with “advertising” the application – e.g.: no gazette notices or planning application style public notices, this is because the application primarily relates to solemnity and dignity not to the potential impact of any given wedding ceremony).

 

 

Grant or refusal of approval (broadly as per Art 3 of the 2002 Order)

 

  1. The approving authority may grant approval only if satisfied that:

a)             the application has been made in accordance with the law and any supplementary guidance brought forward by the SR with the approval of the Minister

b)             that the location is, in the opinion of the approving authority an appropriately solemn and dignified location for the solemnization of marriages (this will include the approving authority having regard to the primary use of the location) and

c)             that the location (whether specific rooms of a building or areas of a given location) can be readily identifiable as a distinct part of the location

d)             any particular special conditions imposed by the approving authority, in order to ensure dignity and solemnity, can be reasonability be complied with by a person organising any given wedding.

 

  1. The Applicant must be informed as soon as practically possible of the approving authority’s decision. This must be prior to the SR entering the location into the Register. The applicant must be informed:

a)             whether the application has been approved or rejected and, if rejected, the reasons why

b)             where there are special conditions imposed on the approval and the reasons why

c)             of their right to appeal the approving authority’s decision

 

  1. The same information must be provided to the following, where they are different persons to the application.

a)             a proprietor/trustee or the managing agent of a location

b)             a relevant authority

c)             an administering authority

d)             any other person who objected to the application, or the approving authority consulted any person or authorities as part of the determination process.

 

  1. The law needs to provide that the approving authority’s approval will not be time limited, except in relation to named-marriage approvals as they only apply to the marriage to which the approval is issued.

 

Note: Non-time limited approvals

The current law provides for time-limited approvals however; it is proposed that under the amended law approval are not time limited. In addition to being administratively easier it provides more certainty for companies which wish to “grow” the marriage market.

 

  1. An approval arising from an application does not fall away in the event that the location is sold or changes ownership. A location remains an approved location until approval is revoked by the approving authority’s and the location is removed from the register (See art 5 (3) 2002 Order)

 

 

Responsible person

 

The responsible person, as named on the application, will:

  1. act at the point of contact between the approving authority and the SR with regard to all matters relating to the approval and/or going registration of the location
  2. be a named point of contact in the register, assuming approval is granted, with regard to dealing with public enquiries about the location.

 

  1. The responsible person must immediately notify the SR of any change to any of the following either during the application and approval process or post-approval and registration:

a)             the layout of the location, as shown in the plan submitted with the approved application

b)             the use of the premises

c)             the name or full postal address of the approved premises;

d)             the description of the room or rooms in which marriages are to be solemnized

e)             the name, address or position of the responsible person.

 

  1. Post-registration, the responsible person is responsible for:

a)             ensuring that any special conditions imposed by the approving authority are adhered to;

b)             notifying the SR of potential breaches of the duties imposed on the authorized celebrant with regard to ensuring the solemnity and dignity of marriage

c)             ensuring compliance with any special conditions which the responsible person has agreed with the authorised celebrant that they will be responsible for (see authorized celebrant instructions).

 

  1. The proprietor/trustee, managing agent or administering authority may also provide details of delegates who will act in the absence of the responsible person

 

 

Standard conditions

 

  1. A number of standard conditions will apply to all approved locations. These include:

 

e)             no food or drink is sold or consumed at the location in which a marriage ceremony takes place for one hour prior to that ceremony or during that ceremony.

f)               the marriage ceremony takes place within the boundaries set out in the approval and as stated in the register (i.e. within the approved room/s or on the approved area of land)

g)             the location in which a marriage is solemnized is separate from any other activities taking place in that location at the time of the ceremony (for example; there must be a reasonable means whereby other beach users are kept out of the immediate space; other venue uses must have vacated the location unless they are attending the marriage ceremony as members of the public)

h)             Details of wedding must be displayed at the location at which the wedding is to take place. These should:

  1. be displayed a least 1 hour before the time of wedding and throughout the ceremony
  2. at each public entrance to the location or equivalent (i.e. the main entrances to a hotel; the public access point on a beach)
  3. include the names of the parties to the marriage plus a location map identifying and giving directions to the place where the marriage ceremony is to take place.

 

  1. It is the responsibility of the authorized celebrant to either ensure compliance with the standard conditions on the day of the wedding, although the authorized celebrant may delegate to the responsible person, where there is a responsible person or their delegate (see authorized celebrant instructions)

 

 

Special conditions

 

  1. In addition to standard conditions, the law should provide that the approving authority can impose any special conditions that the approving authority believes are required to ensure that location is, and remains, suitable for the solemnization of marriage.

 

  1. Those special conditions may relate to:

a)             placing restrictions on the days of the year, days of the week or times of a day that a wedding may be solemnized at that location

b)             placing restrictions on weddings being solemnized at a location in the event that the location or its surrounding land or premises is being used for other purposes at the time of the ceremony (for example; a location on a sea beach may not be approved for use during the same months of a year that the Economic Development Minister has licensed a kayak rental concession)

c)             making requirements in relation to the erection of barriers or notices; use of semi-permanent structures or features (e.g.: awnings, seats, floor coverings)

d)             any other requirements relating specifically to upholding the dignity and solemnity of marriage.

 

  1. It is the responsibility of the following to ensure that any special conditions are complied with;

a)             the responsible person where there is a responsible person or,

b)             where there is no responsible person, the persons organising any given marriage (note: Whilst the authorised celebrant is responsible for the standard conditions, see authorised celebrant instructions, this does not include responsibility for special condition unless the authorized celebrant has been contracted by the couple to act as the person organizing the wedding).

 

  1. All special conditions will be set out in the register.
  2. The approved location must be made available at all reasonable times for inspection by, or on, behalf of the approving authority

 

 

 

Revocation of approval or amendments to approval

 

  1. The law should also provide that the approving authority may revoke their approval in the event that:

 

a)             any special conditions imposed by the approving authority are not complied with; or

 

b)             any standard conditions which the responsible person has agreed with the authorised celebrant that they will be responsible for, are not complied with; or

 

c)             that the location has been altered or it use has change (e.g.: an outdoor location is now used for fast food concession; a room in a hotel is now used for gambling) to an extent that in the view of the approving authority that location is no suitable for the solemnization of marriage (i.e. in relation to solemnity and dignity)

 

d)             the relevant authority informs the approving authority that they will not issue licences or permission in relation to that location

 

e)             if requested to do so by the proprietor/trustee, managing agent or administering authority of the location

 

f)               that there has been any breach of the law relating to marriages at that location.

 

 

  1. The Minister may also revoke approval in response to an appeal (see below)

 

  1. Before an approval is revoked, the approving authority shall:

 

  1. consult with the SR, the Minister and any other authority or person that approving authority deems it appropriate to consult
  2. deliver to the proprietor/trustee and/or their agent and/or any administering authority and/or any relevant authority which grants permission/licences, notification of their intention to revoke approval, providing them not less than 21 days to make a written representation in relation to the propose revocation.

 

  1. Where the proprietor/trustee and/or their agent and/or any relevant authority which grants permission/licences has requested approval is revoked - and there is no other agency or authority or entity with whom the approving authority believes they should consult, they may revoke their approval without allowing a 21-day period for representations.

 

  1. In making their decision the approving authority must take into account any representations received either from the proprietor/trustee and/or their agent and/or any relevant authority which grants permission/licences or any other consultee

 

  1. The law should provide that the approving authority may revoke approval with immediate effect (after the minimum 21-day period in the event that there is an approval holder) or after a period of notice, depending on the circumstances of the case.

 

  1. In revoking their approval, the approving authority may, where a SR has been received a notice of a pending marriage at that approved location, either determine to:
    1. revoke approval with immediate effect (i.e. that planned marriage cannot take place at the location) or
    2. revoke approval with exception of in relation to that planned marriage. In this event, the approving authority may impose special conditions intended to ensure the dignity and solemnity of that marriage.

 

 

Appeal process

 

  1. The law needs to set that that there will be an appeal process associated with the determination of applications. Where possible, as much of the detail of that appeal process should be provided for in guidance issued by the SR as opposed to in legislation, in order to allow for it to be readily amended in the event that a streamlined events management process is introduced.

 

  1. That process should allow for:

a)             an applicant or

b)             the proprietor/trustee, managing agent or administering authority of a location where they were not the applicant

c)             a relevant authority

 

to appeal to the Minister about a decision taken by the approving authority where they are aggrieved by the approving authority’s decision to:

d)             refuse an approval or

e)             to impose special conditions (this may be of particular relevance to a relevant authority that special conditions are imposed to assist them with their associated permissions and licencing processes)

f)              revoke an approval.

 

  1. The Minister may also review the approving authority’s decision to approve an application, once the approval has been recorded in the register, in the event that the Minister is requested to do so by:

a)      Proprietors/trustees or managing who were not applicants

b)      Any occupants of a premises or tenants who were not applicants

c)      Any permission holders granted permissions under other legislation who were not initial applicants (for example, people granted permission to run beach concessions)

d)      the approving authority of the Parish or any other relevant authority (e.g.: Economic Development Minister)

 

  1. An appeal must be made to the Minster in writing. On receipt of an appeal, the Minister:

a)             must consult with the approving authority

 

b)             may visit the location or neighbouring locations (or request an appropriate representative to so) for purpose of inspecting them in relation to whether they uphold the solemnity and dignity of marriage

 

c)             may consult any other authority that the Minister considers relevant to determining the appeal, including for example:

  1. the SR
  2. the Home Affairs Minister
  3. Economic Development Minister
  4. relevant Park authority
  5. Infrastructure Minister in relation to the Road and Events law;
  6. the Bailiff’s Panel
  7. the relevant alcohol licencing authority
  8. the relevant authority in relation to fireworks.

 

e)             may consult neighbouring owners or businesses

 

  1. The Minister may, on appeal:

a)             confirm the approving authority’s original decision

b)             substitute a different decision. This could include:

  1. approving a previously rejected application, including where the approving authority had previously issued a time-limited approval
  2. withdrawing approval where an application has been approved, including where the approving authority had previously issued a time-limited approval
  3. amend, include or remove special conditions.

 

  1. The Minister must, in writing, inform the appellant, the approving authority, anyone with whom the Minister consulted as part of the appeal process.

 

Amendments to approval

 

  1. The approving authority may make amendments to any approval that has already been granted. This could include, for example:

a)             imposing or removing special conditions

b)             changing approval categories (e.g.; name marriage to general marriage)

c)             changing permissions in relation to same-sex marriage at places of public workshop (but only with written consent of the governing authority)

 

  1. The approving authority may do so:

a)      on application of the proprietor/trustee, managing agent or administering authority of the location

b)      on application from the SR or a relevant authority where the SR or the relevant authority believes there are reasonable grounds to request an amendment in order to ensure that dignity and solemnity of marriage is upheld.

 

  1. An appeal may be request in relation to any amendment to approval.

 

 

 

Register of approved locations

 

  1. The SR must keep a register of all locations approved by the Minister. The register must clearly set out whether the location is:
  • approved for general or named weddings only
  • approved for civil & religious weddings or
  • approved just only religious wedding and, if so, the relevant religious denomination/s and
  • where a location is approved only for religious wedding, whether that includes same-sex couples or not. The register must include details of the governing authority which consented to same-sex marriage at that location.

 

  1. The register must also include:

a)             the name and full postal address and/or location plan (see below)

b)             description of boundaries of approval (e.g.: room or rooms if a building/geographic description if an outdoor location)

c)             the name and contact details of the responsible person and any delegates

d)             the date on which approval was given

e)             date on which approval finishes (in the event that the Minister only provided time-limited approval)

f)               details of any special conditions imposed as a condition of approval

g)             any other such information as the Minister may require

 

  1. In addition, SR should also seek to ensure that the register provides all relevant contact details to support people to organise their wedding (for example name of proprietors, administering or relevant authorities, managing agents etc.)

 

 

  1. In the event that it is a named marriage location, the date and names of the parties to the marriage

 

  1. Where approval has been revoked or cancelled on request of the proprietor/trustee, managing agent or administering authority of the location, the date and reason for removed should also be set out in the register.

 

 

  1. The SR shall update any entries into the register, in the event of any changes to the approval for example where the Minister has approved a change in relation to the marriage that can be solemnized there.

 

  1. The information provided in the register must include the name of the location (e.g.: St Catherine’s Woods) plus a copy of the Jersey map showing the boundaries of the approved location. This is in order to ensure that:
    1. the appropriate Parish is clearly identified for the purpose of registering the marriage with the relevant Parish registrar
    2. members of the public who wish to attend can readily find the location.

 

  1. The SR must ensure that the register is available for inspection by the public. This can be just in electronic form.

 

  1. At the point a location is entered into register the SR will issue a copy of the register entry to:

a)             the applicant;

b)             the Constable of the relevant Parish

c)             any governing authority providing consent to same-sex marriage at a place of public religious worship

d)             any authority or individual consulted as part of the process of determining the application

e)             any individual who objected to the application

f)               other relevant authorities under Jersey law (for example,

  1. the Economic Development Minister in relation to beaches (Policing of Beaches (Jersey Regulations) 1959
  2. relevant Park authority (The Policing of Parks (Jersey) Regulations 2005), the Infrastructure Minister in relation to the Road and Events law;
  3. the Bailiff’s Panel in relation entertainment licences (Unlawful Entertainment Regulations)
  4. the relevant alcohol licencing authority
  5. any relevant authority in relation to fireworks etc.

g)             all authorised religious and civil celebrants (matter of process rather than law)

h)             any individual who has signed up for notification of new planning applicants (a matter of process rather than law)

 

  1. When an approved location is added to the register, there should be no requirement to give notice in the Jersey Gazette.

 

 

 

Appendix 1; Overview application process

 

 

Approval of location

Step 1

Applicant applies includes:

-          details of owner or administering authority if known

-          details of responsible person if known.

 

Applications set out whether it relates to:

a)        name marriage or general marriage and,

b)        civil & religious weddings or

c)        religious weddings only as a place of public religious worship.

 

If religious marriage only need to:

a)                 include details of relevant denominations

b)                 states whether same-sex and opposite-sex marriage and, if same-sex include written consent of governing authority.

 

Step 2

Approving authority:

-          reviews application

-          contacts owner/administering authority and the relevant authority where they are not the applicant to establish support for application.

 

Approving authority may decline to review application if it relates to a location which has already been rejected.

 

Step 3

The approving authority will inform the applicant of:

-     the owners/administering authority’s response and the relevant authority response (plus reasons for the response) and;

-     the approving authority’s decision in light of that response

-     any special conditions that may apply

 

Step 4

In the event the location is approved the SR will enter into the register the location.

 

 

 


Appendix 2: Sample Application for a place of public religious worship to be approved for the solemnization of marriage

 

 

Guidance

 

Section 1: Application for approval of a place of public religious worship for the solemnization of marriage

 

Section 1 must be completed if approval is being sought for the solemnization of marriages in a place of public religious worship, regardless of whether approval is being sought in relation to marriage between just opposite-sex couples or opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples.

 

Section 2: Certificate that consent has been given by the relevant governing authority (authorities) for a place of public religious worship to be approved for the solemnization of marriages of same-sex couples.

 

Section 2 must be completed if approval is being sought for the solemnization of marriage between same-sex couples. This includes where the place of public religious worship is currently approved for the solemnization of marriage between opposite-sex couples

 

Section 3: Certificate confirming a place is a place of public religious worship

 

Section 3 must be completed if approval is being sought for solemnization of marriages in a place of public religious worship, which is currently NOT approved for the solemnization of marriage between any couples.

 

 

 

Section 1: Application for approval of a place of public religious worship for the solemnization of marriage

 

 

I …………………..(print name),

being the proprietor/trustee (delete as appropriate), 

of the place known as ………………..(place name),

situation at ………………………(address),

 

apply for said place to be registered for the solemnization of:

 

Box 1: marriages between opposite-sex couples only

Box 2: marriages between same-sex couples

Box 3: both marriages between opposite-sex couples and a same-sex couples

 

Tick one box only. You should only:

  • Tick box one if your place of public religious worship is not currently approved of the solemnization of marriage between opposite-sex couples and you are seeking approval in relation to just opposite-sex couples
  • Tick box two if you place of religious worship is currently approved of the solemnization of marriage between opposite-sex couples but you are now seeking approval in relation to same-sex couples
  • Tick box three if you place of religious worship is currently NOT approved of the solemnization of any marriages between couples and you are seeking approval in relation to both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples.

 

I confirm that said place is a place of public religious worship and that:

Box 1: it is currently registered as a place of public religious worship in relation to the solemnization of marriage, OR

 

Box 2: it is not currently registered as a place of public religious worship in relation to the solemnization of marriage but has been certified as a place of public religious worship in Section 2 below.

 

I confirm that said place is used as a place of public religious worship by the following religious domination/s  ………………(name of domination/s)

 

I can confirm that the doors of the place of public religious worship are open to the public

Box 1: Yes

Box 2: No

 

I can confirm that I have attached a copy of the marriage service to be used.

 

Signature……………….

Date……………………

 

 

Section 2: Certificate that consent has been given by the relevant governing authority (authorities) for a place of public religious worship to be approved for the solemnization of marriages of same-sex couples.

 

Section 3 must be completed if approval is being sought for the solemnization of marriage between same-sex couples. This includes where the place of public religious worship is currently approved for the solemnization of marriage between opposite-sex couples.

 

 

Question 1:  Is the place shared by more than one religious organisation?

Yes (if so, please compete question 3 and 4 below)

No (if so, please complete question 2 below)

 

 

Question 2: Please complete the certificate below and sent it with your application and a copy of the relevant governing authorities consent to the solemnisation of marriages of same-sex couples.

 

Certificate

 

I ……………. (print name)

hereby certify that the persons who are relevant governing authority in relation to ………………………..(name of place) have given their written consent to the solemnization of same-sex couples in accordance with the Marriage and Civil Status (Jersey) Law 2001.

 

I also confirm that I have attached a copy of the relevant authority’s consent to the solemnization of marriages of same-sex couples.

 

 

Signed

Date

Proprietor / Trustee (delete as appropriate)

 

 

Question 3: Place of public religious worship shared by more than one religious organisation

 

Please list all the religious organisations that share said place of public religious worship and indicate whether the relevant governing authority of each has given:

  • their written consent to the solemnization of marriages between same-sex couples or
  • their written consent to the place being used for that purpose.

 

Name of religious organisation

Relevant governing authorities consent to solemnization of marriages between same-sex couples (Yes/NO)

Relevant governing authorities consent for the place to be used for solemnization of marriages between same-sex couples (Yes/No)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question 4: Please complete the certificate below and sent it with:

a)      your application and

b)      a copy of the consent of a least one of the relevant governing authorities to the solemnization of marriages of same-sex couples, and

c)      a copy of the consent of each of the other relevant governing authorities to the place being used for solemnization of marriages between same-sex couples

 

Certificate

 

I ……………. (print name) hereby certify that one (or more) of the relevant governing authorities named above has given their written consent to the solemnization of marriages between same-sex couples, and that each of the other relevant governing authorities has given written consent for the shared place known as …………… (name of place) to be used for solemnization of marriages between same-sex couples

 

Signed

Date

Proprietor / Trustee (delete as appropriate)

 

Section 3: Certificate confirming a place is a place of public religious worship

 

Section 3 must be completed if approval is being sought for solemnization of marriages in a place of public religious worship, which is currently NOT approved for the solemnization of marriage. The purpose of Section 3 is to certify that a place is a place of public religious worship.

 

Part 1 of Section 3 should be completed if the religious organisation is an established in Jersey. Part 2 of Section 3 may need to be completed and signed by signed by twenty householders, if the religious organisation is not place of public religious worship of a recognised and established religious organisation in Jersey. For advice on whether to complete Part 1 or Part 2 contact……..

 

 

Part 1

I …………………..(print name),

being the proprietor/trustee (delete as appropriate), 

of the place known as ………………..(place name),

situation at ………………………(address), certify that the place is used by as a place of public religious worship for ……………..(name of religious organisation) and I request that the place should be registered for the solemnization of marriage of:

 

 

Box 1: marriages between opposite-sex couples only

Box 2: both marriages between opposite-sex couples and a same-sex couples

 

 

Part 2

We, the undersigned, do certify that the place known as………..(name of place)

situation at ………………………(address), certify that the place is used by us as our usual place of public religious worship for ……………..(name of religious organisation).  and I request that the place should be registered for the solemnization of marriage of. We request that the place should be registered for the solemnization of marriage of:

 

Box 1: marriages between opposite-sex couples only

Box 2: both marriages between opposite-sex couples and a same-sex couples

 

 

Signature of householder

Print name

Address

Date of signature

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

  1.  

 

 

 

 

 

Countersigned by ………………(name) being the proprietor/trustee (delete as appropriate) of said place.  Date of signature:……………………………..

 

 


Chapter 10: Alternative arrangements for signing of forms

 

Section 1: Introduction

  1. This chapter sets out the instructions to the Law Draftsman to ensure that the law provides for alternative arrangement for the signing of forms where the parties to a marriage, and marriage conversion are unable to sign form due to a disability or illness.

 

Section 2: Instructions

  1. In relation to the 2001 law, the instructions relate to the signing of:

a)             Marriage forms

  1. notice to marry forms (note: this does not apply to marriage notice application forms)
  2. Freedom to marry declarations
  3. Marriage schedule
  4. Marriage certificates

 

b)             Conversion forms

  1. Conversion declaration (note: this does not apply to conversion application forms)
  2. Marriage conversion certificates.

 

 

  1. Whilst all forms are in English either party may sign with a non-English character but they must also print their first and last name in English.

 

  1. Where either party is unable to sign, they may make a mark, providing that mark can be replicated. It must be the same on all the forms including:

a)             marriage schedule and marriage certificate (marriage)

b)             conversion declaration form and marriage conversion certificate (Conversion process)

 

  1. Where either party cannot sign or make a mark due to a disability or illness, they may nominate another person to sign the forms on their behalf.

 

  1. A different representative can sign the different forms - in order to provide flexibility where, for example, a party to the marriage has a number of different carers -  but the same restrictions apply to each representative, as set out below. The exceptions are:

a)             the marriage schedule and marriage certificates, which are signed at the point of solemnization, must be signed by the same representative

b)             the Conversion declaration form and marriage conversion certificate, which are signed at the point of conversion must both be signed by the same representative.

 

  1. Those restrictions include, the representative/s:

(a)          cannot be the other party to the marriage/conversion

(b)          cannot be the authorised individual who it is anticipated will oversee the marriage/conversion

(c)           cannot be the SR or deputy who is solemnizing the marriage/overseeing the conversion (although that does not preclude it from being the SR or deputy if they are not acting as authorised individual and are not solemnizing the marriage etc.)

(d)          cannot be someone who will also act as witness to the marriage. This is a safeguard against sham or forced marriage

(e)          must be someone who the SR deems as an appropriate person to sign on behalf of the party by dint of their relationship with the party (for example; a friend, family member, care worker, GP) or by dint of their office (for example, a deputy of the SR)

(f)            cannot be a minor.

 

  1. Where a representative/s is signing the SR must:

(a)          be informed in advance on the prescribed form (as set out in secondary legislation)

(b)          must agree that the proposed representative/s is an appropriate person (as set out above)

(c)           must have received and verified all supporting documentation relating to the representative’s identity.

 

  1. The prescribe form must include the following information:

 

 

Information in relation to the representative

a)      First names and surnames of representative

b)      Date of birth of representative

c)      Address and contact details (usual place of residence)

d)      Nationality

e)      Description of their relationship to the party

 

Information in relation to the party/marriage on whose behalf they are signing:

f)        name of party on whose behalf they are signing

g)      name of intended spouse

h)      intended date of wedding

i)        description of documents to be signed (marriage notice and/or freedom to marry declaration and/or marriage schedule and certificate.

 

Signature of representative and date of signing.

 

  1. In addition to completing the prescribed form., the representative/s must also provide to the SR copies of all the required supporting evidence. The supporting evidence must include:

a)             evidence of name, date of birth and nationality

b)             evidence of place of residence

 

  1. The SR must annotate all signed copies of the forms to show that a representative has signed the documents

 

  1. The above does not apply in relation to people who do not have capacity to consent to marriage/conversion to marriage. Article 7(1)(a) of the Capacity Law provides that nothing in that Capacity Law shall be taken to permit consent to be given, on behalf of another person, to marriage.


Chapter 11: Other amendments

 

 

Section 1: Introduction

 

  1. This chapter sets out the instructions to the Law Draftsman to amend elements of the 2001 Law and 2002 Order which:

a)      relate to the registration of births

b)      relate to the forms set out in the 2002 Order.

 

  1. The matters relating to the registration of births are not related to the introduction of same-sex marriage, however, given the that 2001 law is currently being amended, now would be timely opportunity to also bring forward these changes.

 

  1. Matters relating to the forms are necessitated by the introduction of same-sex marriage and associated requirements to give particularly consideration to language. In addition, there are some features of the current forms which the Superintendent Registrar reports as being problematic, and hence it is also a timely opportunity to address.

 

 

Section 2: Instructions relating to changes relating to registration of births

 

  1. As it currently stands, there are some process and resource difficulties around the registration of still births and the registration of births where a baby dies, or is expected to die, shortly after birth. In summary, when these circumstances arise most parents do not want to have to go to register their baby’s birth and service requirements can prevent the registrar attending them, or a member person who was present at the birth providing the information to the registrar.

 

  1. Article 53 of the 2001 already provides for SR to inform the registrar of the particulars of a birth if that birth has not been registered in accordance with Art 51 (i.e. not registered within 21 days). Article 53 should be amended to also allow that the SR may, where the SR believes there are reasonable grounds to, provide information to the register before the end of that 21-day deadline.

 

  1. It should be noted that Article 61 which related to the registration of stillbirths does not include any reference to a timeframe (e.g.: 21 days) so, from a process point of view, the SR could gather the relevant information and act as informant at any point.

 


Section 3: Instructions relating to forms

  1. As general point of principles:

 

a)             forms should only capture information that is necessary to recording an event or establishing identity, however law should however, provide the Minister powers to require the capturing of additional information as and when deem necessary in order to respond to future requirements (for example, in the event that additional information needs to be capture in relation to immigration status post-Brexit). This could include written information or forms of information (e.g.: photographs)

 

b)             the lay, size, format or colour of forms should not be prescribed in primary or secondary legislation, as over time forms may need to be adjusted to allow for changes in scanning and printing technology

 

Note: Terminology

 

As per the States decision (P77/2015) it is intended that terms such as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’, ‘mother’ and ‘father’ should be retained in legislation and supporting documentation as far as possible. It is recognised that these are important words and the States are of the view that same-sex marriage legislation does not need to drive out their use. A husband can be married to a wife or a husband, a similarly a wife can be married to a husband or a wife. 

 

 

  1. The amendments set out below are in addition to those required as a result of the changes in the processes relating to the solemnization and registration of marriage, as set out elsewhere in these law drafting instructions:

 

a)             reference to “permanent” place of residence should be changed to “usual” place of residence. Parties completing existing form often struggle to provide details of a “permanent” place if they are living somewhere for a short period of time.

 

b)             where a form includes the designation, bride, bridegroom or spouse, people should be allowed to choose which designation is used on their forms. This is to allow for same-sex marriage. Two brides can marry, two grooms can marry, or two spouses can marry

 

c)             references to “maiden name” should be changed to “previous surname if relevant)

 


d)             where a form requires provision of information about a person’s parents (forenames and surname) they should allow for inclusion of forename and surname of two parents. The registering of just the father’s details is seen as paternalistic and excludes those who do not have a father

 

e)             in including information about parents, the forms should allow for descriptors of the relationship to be amended on a case-by-case basis (e.g.: father, mother, parent). This is in order to recognise that some people will have two fathers or two mothers or two parents.

 

f)               where a form includes “address of mother’ it should also include ‘address of father if different’ (or be annotated to read, address of parent).

 

g)             where a form includes reference “date of parent’s marriage”, it should read “date of parent’s marriage or civil partnership”

 

h)             where a form makes reference to “cause of death” it should be amended to state “Cause of death if known”

 

i)               reference to occupation/profession should be remain on forms that currently include it, however, provision of this information is optional as it is not necessary to establishing identity or recording an event

 

 

 

 

 

1

 


[1] Note: Provision in made in the emergency marriage instructions for the SR to provide permission for different celebrant from that named on the schedule to marry the couple in the event that, at the last moment, the original celebrant is unable to marry the couple. In this event, the new celebrant should annotate the schedule and certificates to show the change; therefore, marriage should still be solemnized by the celebrant named on the schedule.

[4] The 2001 Law makes reference to authorising people to solemnize and ‘register’ marriages. In this context it does not mean enter into the register as this is undertaken by the Registrar.

[5] Details of date to be provided to the medical practitioner by the parties to the marriage.

[6] Note: As per chapter 3, Restrictions on marriage, the amended 2001 Law will allow for age of marriage to be amended by Regulations. It is envisaged that future instructions relating to the Civil Partnership Law will make mirroring provisions.

[7] In the event that the couple are engaging an authorised civil celebrant, authorised religious official or Anglican (i.e. not the SR) to oversee the signing of the conversion declaration they will be responsible for directly paying any fees for the celebrant/religious official.

[8] The Bailiff’s Panel licensing arrangements, as set up under the Unlawful Entertainments Regulations, needs to be reviewed in part because of the decision of the States Assembly to adopt the 7th amendment to the States Strategic Plan (P.27/2015) agreeing to:

Delegate authority to the Parish of St Helier for the licensing of small-scale events within the parish, including in its public squares and precincts, after appropriate consultation with the relevant authorities and subject to all necessary safeguards (and) risk assessments being in place.

 

[9] As per the “Marriage Process instructions”, the law requires the authorised celebrant to ensure that the details of wedding are displayed at the location at which the wedding is to take place at least 1 hour before the time of wedding.

 

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