New clause 5 - Validity of civil partnerships registered

Civil Partnership Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 26th October 2004.

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'(1) Where two people register as civil partners of each other in England or Wales, the civil partnership is—

(a) void, if it would be void in England and Wales under section 49, and

(b) voidable, if the circumstances fall within any paragraph of section 170(1).

(2) Where two people register as civil partners of each other in Scotland, the civil partnership is—

(a) void, if it would be void in Scotland under section 120, and

(b) voidable, if the circumstances fall within section 170(1)(d).

(3) Subsection (4) applies where two people register as civil partners of each other under an Order in Council under—

(a) section 202 (registration at British consulates etc.),or

(b) section 203 (registration by armed forces personnel),

(''the relevant section'').

(4) The civil partnership is—

(a) void, if—

(i) the condition in subsection (2)(a) or (b) of the relevant section is not met, or

(ii) a requirement prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph by an Order in Council under the relevant section is not complied with, and

(b) voidable, if—

(i) the appropriate part of the United Kingdom is Northern Ireland or England and Wales and the circumstances fall within any paragraph of section 170(1), or

(ii) the appropriate part of the United Kingdom is Scotland and the circumstances fall within section 170(1)(d).

(5) The appropriate part of the United Kingdom is the part by reference to which the condition in subsection (2)(b) of the relevant section is met.

(6) Subsections (7) and (8) apply where two people have registered an apparent or alleged overseas relationship.

(7) The civil partnership is void if—

(a) the relationship is not an overseas relationship, or

(b) (even though the relationship is an overseas relationship) the parties are not treated under Chapter 2 of Part 5 as having formed a civil partnership.

(8) The civil partnership is voidable if—

(a) the overseas relationship is voidable under the relevant law,

(b) the circumstances fall within section 170(1)(d), or

(c) where either of the parties was domiciled in Northern Ireland or England and Wales at the time when the overseas relationship was registered, the circumstances fall within section 170(1)(a), (b), (c) or (e).

(9) Section 171 applies for the purposes of—

(a) subsections (1)(b), (2)(b) and (4)(b),

(b) subsection (8)(a), in so far as applicable in accordance with the relevant law, and

(c) subsection (8)(b) and (c).

(10) In subsections (8)(a) and (9)(b) ''the relevant law'' means the law of the country or territory where the overseas relationship was registered (including its rules of private international law).

(11) For the purposes of subsections (8) and (9)(b) and (c), references in sections 170 and 171 to the formation of a civil partnership are to be read as references to the registration of the overseas relationship.'.