Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022: implementation

The Government has announced that the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 will be brought into effect on Monday 27 February 2023. From 26 February 2023, 16- and 17-year-olds will no longer be able to marry or enter a civil partnership in England and Wales under any circumstances, including with parental or judicial consent.

5 thoughts on “Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022: implementation

  1. The Government announcement concludes by stating, “This early announcement will help provide sufficient time for arrangements to be made where necessary.” Does that include cancelling a wedding (and, perhaps more significantly, the booking of a venue for the reception) when, prior to this announcement, the wedding had been booked to take place after 26 February 2023? And would the Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943 apply in relation to any such cancellation?

    The Act received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022 — nearly 3½ months ago — so if the Government wanted to give ‘early’ notice of when the Act will be brought into force, it could have done so back in May. It might be thought, given that the Act does not raise the age of consent to sexual intercourse from 16 and that a pregnancy might ensue from such lawful intercourse, that at least nine months’ notice of implementation would be given. One wonders, too, whether Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss approved this announcement, given we are told that new policy announcements would not be made until the new prime minister is in post.

    • Very much the thoughts that occurred to me. I’ve been checking each week to see if the commencement Regulations had been laid: an early announcement of the implementation date would have saved a lot of people a lot of trouble.

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