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Changes In Family Law Essay

2327 words - 10 pages

Introduction
The Labour Government provides ‘Families are the bedrock of our society. They nurture children, help to build strength, resilience and moral values in young people, and provide the love and encouragement that helps them lead fulfilling lives.’ It is difficult to define ‘family’ because different people have different ideas on what a family is. Since many people have many views on what a family is, there is no set definition. The closest thing to a legal definition is a judicial statement that a family is what the ordinary man on the street thinks it (Sefton Holdings ). Traditionally, the word of family refers to a group of persons related to each other by blood or marriage. Over ...view middle of the document...

11(c) MCA 1973 was incompatible with Articles 8 and 12 of the ECHR. Consequently, this has led to the government enacting Gender Recognition Act 2004 and therefore marriage is no longer restricted to those who were born respectively male and female. However, Butler-Sloss LJ and Robert Walker LJ held that the profoundly unsatisfactory position of transsexuals requires careful consideration.

Civil Partnership
Weeks (2002) found that the term ‘family’ has become ‘important rally point’ for many self-identified non-heterosexual. Same-sex couples have being recognized under English law. This has been shown in Fitzpatrick case where the HOL held that for the purposes of the Rent Act 1977 the definition of 'family' included a same-sex partner of a deceased tenant. This approach was further developed in Mendoza . Consequently, the Rent Act 1977 has been changed to include same-sex partners.


Same-sex relationships subsequently have been given legal recognition by the introduction of CPA 2004 . It was introduced specifically in order to remove the legal, social and economic disadvantages of same-sex couples and has proved to be revolutionary. Previously, same-sex couples had no way of gaining legal recognition of their relationship and thus faced the very real possibility of, for example, being forced to leave after the death of partner, as same-sex couples were not given provision under inheritance laws. It is a separate union which provides the legal consequences of marriage. Michael Scott-Joynt in his article says that 'a relationship that is not marriage has been treated in law almost wholly as if it is the equivalent of marriage; the CPA has created so convincing and complete a copy of marriage that confusion between the two is perhaps intentionally invited by the 'reasonable implications that can be drawn from the practical provision that is in fact made'. There are several rights given to same-sex couples under the legislation that coincide with marital rights. The key conceptual difference between civil partnerships and marriage is that one is essentially same-sex and the other is essentially opposite-sex, with the corollary that children cannot be conceived naturally by the partners. The law is unwilling to accept same-sex relationships to the same degree as marital relationships due to the conception of children. In the US the California Superior Court does not see that registration of partnerships remedies discrimination against same-sex partners . The court is saying that partnerships generate a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community. Commentators of the Christian Institute argued that the Governments enactment of the CPA 2004 will enforce a moral change within society and undoubtedly change people's attitudes towards same-sex marriage in the UK. There are, however, some country which have already recognised same-sex marriage i.e. Canada, Spain etc. In Wilkinson v Kitzinger , Potter J states that to allow...

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