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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Amendments to laws on marriage & civil partnerships

23 March 2023

On Friday 24 March 2023, amendments to laws governing marriage, civil partnerships, civil registration, the minimum age of marriage, marriage locations and the naming of children will come into effect. 

The main aspects that have changed include: 

  • Civil partnerships will be extended to all couples, regardless of sex, and married couples will be able to convert a marriage into a civil partnership
  • The legal age of marriage and civil partnership will be increased from 16 years of age to 18 years of age in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Couples will be able to choose a second wedding location as a backup when hosting an open-air wedding, in case of inclement weather
  • Registration functions are now able to be formally transferred from Parishes to the Superintendent Registrar and back provided the correct notice period is satisfied
  • In line with similar laws in other jurisdictions, the Superintendent Registrar will be able to refuse to register a child's name that might cause mistake, confusion, or embarrassment to the child – which complies with the Government's commitment of putting children first as well as meeting obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

 Superintendent Registrar, Claire Follain, said: "These are important amendments to the laws relating to marriage, civil partnership and birth registration which reflect a commitment to equality, human rights and the rights of children.”

Minister for Home Affairs, Helen Miles said: “I’m pleased to see these changes coming into force tomorrow. Not only are they important so that we comply with human rights legislation and protect the rights and welfare of children, but it is also what Islanders want.

“Prior to the laws being approved by the States Assembly in March 2022, public consultations were held in 2019 and Islanders clearly stated that they believe civil partnerships should be available to all couples. There was also a clear consensus among respondents that we should raise the age of marriage to 18 years old.”

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