Journal Article

Same-sex Couples and the Law: Recent Developments in the British Isles

Brian Tobin

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 23, issue 3, pages 309-330
Published in print December 2009 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online August 2009 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/ebp008
Same-sex Couples and the Law: Recent Developments in the British Isles

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This article chronicles the treatment of same-sex couples in England and the Republic of Ireland in recent years in order to ascertain (i) the impact that incorporation of the European Convention into the domestic law of each State has had on the rights of same-sex couples, (ii) what the introduction of civil partnership legislation might mean for the future of the same-sex marriage debate, (iii) the position of prospective same-sex adoptive parents in each jurisdiction, and (iv) what the law is proposing for those couples who do not formalise their relationship, whether same-sex or opposite-sex. Through a comparative analysis of the many recent developments that have taken place in each jurisdiction, the article concludes (i) that when interpreted correctly by the national courts the European Convention has been of little benefit to same-sex couples since its incorporation, (ii) that civil partnership may sound the death knell for same-sex marriage, (iii) that the Irish stance on adoption by same-sex couples may be illogical in light of a recent decision handed down in Strasbourg, and (iv) that significant progress has been made as regards those opposite-sex and same-sex couples who do not marry or register their partnership, with a redress scheme for such couples at the legislative stage in the Republic of Ireland.

Journal Article.  9619 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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