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Explanatory Memorandum to Marriage (Northern Ireland) Order 2003

Background and Policy Objectives

3.The Order aims to reform, simplify, update and consolidate the existing procedures in relation to the formalities to and preliminaries for marriage. It does not deal with the concept of marriage, that being the voluntary union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others, but instead focuses on the steps that must be undertaken before a marriage ceremony can take place.

4.The Order largely implements the recommendations made to Government by the Law Reform Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland, which had the matter of the law relating to marriage preliminaries referred to it in 1998 by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

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