Consummation and the validity of marriage: X (A Child: foreign surrogacy)

Is consummation necessary to render a marriage valid? “Yes”, assumed non-specialist ignoramuses (like me): “No”, says the President of the Family Division.

In X (A Child: foreign surrogacy) [2018] EWFC 15, Sir James Munby P had been asked to make a parental order in accordance with s.54 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, which requires that the applicants “must be … husband and wife”. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 18th March

The Government’s Green Paper on integration, safeguarding in Chichester and Sweden, marriage, burial – and the living dead…

The Government’s Green Paper on integration

On Wednesday, the Government published its promised Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper triggering a consultation which will close on 5 June. We noted the proposals on religious weddings and sharia here; however, it also includes: Continue reading

The Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper and sharia

HMG has published its promised Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper. The proposals are wide-ranging and subject to a consultation (with some very general questions, almost for discussion rather than factual responses) which closes on 5 June. We shall no doubt be returning to this subject in future posts, but we thought it might be helpful to report the proposals on nikah weddings. Continue reading

Polygamy in Canada: “non-polygamy” in the US

We venture across the Atlantic only rarely, but two cases about polygamy have come to our attention – thanks to Donlu Thayer and Howard Friedman – that, coincidentally, are almost mirror-images.

In R v Blackmore 2017 BCSC 1288 (CanLII) in July 2017, the Supreme Court of British Columbia found Winston Blackmore and James Oler guilty of practising polygamy, contrary to s.293(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada, for which the maximum penalty is five years’ imprisonment. Continue reading

Law and religion round-up – 11th March

IICSA begins hearings on the Church of England, Ireland clears the way for a referendum on abortion and the President of the Supreme Court tackles the vexed question of niqabs in court.

Lady Hale on religious dress

The Supreme Court website has posted the text of Lady Hale’s Sultan Azlan Shah Lecture, given at Oxford in January, on religious dress and, in particular, on the vexed issue of Muslim women wearing niqab veils in court. In a nutshell: Continue reading

The Bishop’s vote in Tynwald: Tynwald decides

In two earlier posts – linked below – Peter Edge, Professor of Law at Oxford Brookes, commented on the earlier debates in Tynwald on the position of the Bishop of Sodor and Man. In a cross-post from his own blog, he reports on the conclusion to the debate.

On 21 February 2018, Tynwald voted on the Third Report of the Select Committee on the Functioning of Tynwald. This report, which I have discussed previously, made three recommendations:

(1) that the Tynwald Management Committee should be responsible for overseeing the CPD Programme for Members of Tynwald;

(2) that the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man should retain his vote in Tynwald, and have the same rights and duties as to voting as other members; and

(3) that the Isle of Man Government should establish an independent review to examine and report on emoluments of Members of Tynwald, having regard to a number of foundational principles.

This note focuses on the second recommendation. Continue reading