Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

Religion and Marriage Law

The Need for Reform

By Russell Sandberg

Published

Jul 1, 2021

Page count

128 pages

ISBN

978-1529212808

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Jul 1, 2021

Page count

128 pages

ISBN

978-1529212815

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Jul 1, 2021

Page count

128 pages

ISBN

978-1529212815

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Religion and Marriage Law

Marriage law in England and Wales is a historical relic which reflects a bygone age.

Successive governments have made a series of progressive but ad hoc reforms, most notably the introduction of civil partnerships and same-sex marriage. However, this has resulted in a legal framework which is complex and controversial, especially in relation to religion.

This book provides the first accessible guide to how contemporary marriage law interacts with religion and identifies pressure points in relation to non-religious organisations and unregistered religious marriages. It reveals the need for the consolidation, modernisation and reform of marriage law and sets out proposals for how the transformation of these laws can be achieved.

“Russell Sandberg’s work in drawing together the law relating to marriage and setting it in a religious context is important, welcome and most timely.” The Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division.

"A judicious, but also radical look at British marriage law which has struggled to keep up with increasing social and religious diversity. Handled with exemplary scholarly intelligence, this book suggests where more clarity and equity might be implemented." Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

Russell Sandberg is Professor of Law at Cardiff University.

1. Introduction: Marital Problems

Part 1: The Legal Framework

2. Religion and Opposite-Sex Marriage

3. Religion and Same-Sex Marriage

Part 2: The Road to Reform

4. Unregistered Religious Marriages

5. Non-Religious Marriages

6. The Law Commission’s Proposals

Part 3: Reform Proposals

7. Reforming Weddings Law

8. Reforming Validity and Criminal Offences

9. Reforming Cohabitation Rights

10. Conclusions: Relationship Solutions