Sham wedding powers ruled illegal

30 July 2008

Satvinder Juss was Counsel in BAIAI [2008] UKHL 53, where the House of Lords granted a Declaration of Incompatibility with respect to discrimination between civil and anglican marriages. Their Lordships agreed with the Court of Appeal and the High Court below that the legislative scheme requiring prior government consent for a marriage solemnised on the authority of a superintendent registrar's certificate under the Marriage Act 1949 was discriminatory, as it did not apply to marriages conducted according to the rites of the Church of England on the authority of ecclesiastical preliminaries. Accordingly, the scheme was disproportionate and violated the "right to marry" under Article 12 of the Human Rights Act 1998.