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The place of worship in solemnization of a marriage

Kennett, Wendy ORCID: 2015. The place of worship in solemnization of a marriage. Journal of Law and Religion 30 (2) , pp. 260-294. 10.1017/jlr.2015.17

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The recent decision of the United Kingdom Supreme Court in Regina (Hodkin and another) v Registrar General for Births, Deaths and Marriages concerned the registration of the premises belonging to the Church of Scientology in London as a place of worship, specifically for the purpose of enabling a marriage to take place there which would be valid in law. This article examines the continuing significance of a registered place of worship in the English law rules on formalities of marriage. It provides a brief history of the role of religion in the solemnization of marriages in England and Wales, and the emergence of the “place of worship” as a constituent element in the celebration of a valid marriage. The role of marriage at a registered place of worship in the current legislation governing the formalities of marriage is considered, along with the impact on that scheme of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. The exceptional character of the approach adopted by English law is highlighted by a comparative survey of laws on the solemnization of marriages, which also demonstrates some of the problems arising out of alternative solutions. Finally, recent attempts to reform the law are noted, followed by some concluding remarks on possible future developments.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Law & Politics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
K Law > K Law (General)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0748-0814
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 18:33

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