03 OCT 2019

Ministry of Justice: Marriage: Humanism

Written Answers

Sarah Wollaston Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons), Chair, Liaison Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to amend section 14 of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 to give legal recognition to humanist marriages before waiting for the outcome of the Law Commission's review.

Wendy Morton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Law Commission review that the Government announced this June is a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. As part of that review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent.

Sarah Wollaston Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons), Chair, Liaison Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, for what reasons the Law Commission is undertaking a review into humanist marriages.

Wendy Morton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Law Commission review that the Government announced this June is a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. The law has been added to over several centuries without any systematic reform.

As part of that review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent.

The Law Commission has published the terms of reference for the review at https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/weddings/.

Sarah Wollaston Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons), Chair, Liaison Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what funding has been allocated to the Law Commission review of the law on marriage.

Wendy Morton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Law Commission will review the law on how and where people can marry in England and Wales, and will provide recommendations for a simple, fair and consistent system which gives couples choice in to marry in a way that is meaningful to them. The cost of this project will be approximately £400,000.

This cost is for the resource for two years of a project team made up of one full-time lawyer, one full-time research assistant, a proportion of the time of a team manager and some travel, publication and translation costs (totalling approximately £150,000 per year) plus the cost of engaging a specialist academic (£50,000 per year).

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