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Dr Jens M Scherpe: Legal Recognition of Foreign Formalised Same-Sex Relationships in the UK

Date:12 DEC 2007

Dr Jens M Scherpe University of Cambridge

Same-sex couples in the UK can formalise their relationship since the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into effect on 5 December 2005. The legal consequences of a civil partnership with a few exceptions are very much the same as those of marriage and indeed civil partnership has been called a marriage in everything but name (see Sir Mark Potter P in Wilkinson v Kitzinger (No 2) [2006] EWHC 2022 (Fam) [2007] 1 FLR 295 at para [88]: 'marriage in all but name' and Baroness Hale of Richmond 'Homosexual Rights' [2004] CFLQ 125: 'marriage in almost all but name'). Thus the UK has joined the group of countries that have created a separate legal regime for same-sex couples which is the functional equivalent of marriage. In this group we find inter alia the Nordic Countries Germany and Switzerland. Other countries such as The Netherlands Belgium Spain Canada and South Africa have gone another way and opened up marriage to same-sex couples. But there also is a group of countries in...

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