The Government Equalities Office has published a policy paper which sets out the terms of reference and timetable for a review of the operation and future of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (CPA) in England and Wales.
See this announcement dated 13 June: Future of Civil Partnerships review to start in autumn 2013
Terms of Reference published for a formal review of the Civil Partnership Act 2004
The Government has today announced its intention to launch a full public consultation in the autumn to kick start a review of the future of Civil Partnerships in England and Wales.
During a debate in the House of Commons of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, concerns were raised by MPs over the issue of civil partnerships and their role in light of same sex marriage legislation.
To ensure these issues are fully understood the Government tabled an amendment to the Bill which would allow for a formal review of the Civil Partnership Act 2004.
Read the Terms of Reference for a formal review of the Civil Partnership Act. [Full text copied below the fold]
Civil partnerships review – terms of reference and timetable
To review the operation and future of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (CPA) in England and Wales.
To carry out a full public consultation, assess the evidence and publish a report on
- The functioning and operation of the CPA in England and Wales;
- The future of civil partnerships in England and Wales, including whether they should apply to all couples; and
- Options and recommendations for changes to civil partnerships in England and Wales.
The review of the CPA will cover England and Wales and will
- Examine evidence about how well the current arrangements for civil partnerships are working, drawing on views from the public and organisations with an interest and international comparisons
- Assess the need and demand for civil partnerships when marriage is available to all, and whether any changes to civil partnership arrangements are necessary
- Identify all the implications of and issues raised by the identified options (including risks and devolution issues)
- Assess the costs and benefits of the options
- Make recommendations for any changes to the operation and future of the CPA.
We are currently conducting policy analysis and gathering evidence to inform the document we intend to publish for full public consultation after the summer recess, subject to Royal Assent of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. This consultation will seek views from stakeholders and the public and will run for approximately twelve weeks. We will also commission research where necessary to fill any gaps in the evidence base. We will then analyse responses to the consultation and all other evidence obtained to inform decisions, and publish a report of the outcome as soon as a decision is taken. We anticipate that this will happen by winter 2014.