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Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977

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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:

Civil marriagesS

17 Appointment of authorised registrars.S

For the purpose of affording reasonable facilities for the solemnisation of civil marriages throughout Scotland, the Registrar General—

(a)shall appoint such number of district registrars as he thinks necessary; and

(b)may, in respect of any district for which he has appointed a district registrar under paragraph (a) above, appoint one or more assistant registrars,

as persons who may solemnise marriages:

Provided that any person appointed under this section must, at the date of his appointment, be 21 years of age or over.

18 Places at which civil marriages may be solemnised.S

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, an authorised registrar shall solemnise a civil marriage

[F1(a)]in his registration office [F2; or]

[F2(b)at an approved place in his registration district]

(2)An authorised registrar may, with the approval of the Registrar General, solemnise a civil marriage

[F3(a)]in the registration office of another authorised registrar [F4; or]

[F4(b)at an approved place in the district of another authorised registrar]

(3)If either of the parties to an intended civil marriage is unable to attend the registration office of an authorised registrar for the solemnisation of the marriage, an authorised registrar may, subject to the following provisions of this section and on reimbursement of any additional expenditure incurred by him by virtue of this subsection, solemnise the marriage—

(a)at any place in his registration district other than his registration office; or

(b)with the approval of the Registrar General, at any place in any registration district in respect of which there is no authorised registrar.

(4)The authorised registrar shall not solemnise a marriage at any such place as is described in subsection (3)(a) or (b) above unless—

(a)application has been made to him by either of the parties to the intended marriage requesting him to solemnise the marriage at such a place and stating the reason why one of the parties is unable to attend a registration office; and

(b)subject to subsection (5) below, he is satisfied on consideration of the application that the party is unable to attend a registration office by reason of serious illness or serious bodily injury and that there is good reason why the marriage cannot be delayed until the party is able to attend a registration office.

(5)If the authorised registrar is not satisfied as mentioned in subsection (4)(b) above, he shall consult the Registrar General who may direct him to solemnise the marriage in accordance with the application made under subsection (4)(a) above or to refuse so to solemnise it.

[F5(6)For the purposes of this section “approved place” means any place approved by virtue of regulations made under section 18A of this Act.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F1Word “a” in s. 18(1) inserted (25.4.2002) by 2002 asp 8, s. 1(2)(a)(i); S.S.I. 2002/184, art. 2

F2S. 18(1)(b) and word “or” immediately preceding inserted (25.4.2002) by 2002 asp 8, s. 1(2)(ii); S.S.I. 2002/184, art. 2

F3Word “a” in s. 18(2) inserted (25.4.2002) by 2002 asp 8, s. 1(2)(b)(i); S.S.I. 2002/184, art. 2

F4S. 18(2)(b) and word “or” immediately preceding added (25.4.2002) by 2002 asp 8, s. 1(2)(b)(ii); S.S.I. 2002/184, art. 2

[F618A Approved placesS

(1)The Scottish Ministers may by regulations make provision for or in connection with the approval by local authorities of places in their areas in which civil marriages may be solemnised.

(2)Regulations under subsection (1) above may in particular include provision as to—

(a)the kinds of place in respect of which approvals may be granted;

(b)the procedure to be followed in relation to applications for approval;

(c)the considerations to be taken into account by a local authority in determining whether to approve any places;

(d)the duration and renewal of approvals;

(e)the conditions that shall or may be imposed by a local authority on granting or renewing an approval;

(f)the determination and charging by local authorities of fees in respect of—

(i)applications for the approval of places;

(ii)the renewal of approvals; and

(iii)the attendance by authorised registrars at places approved under the regulations;

(g)the circumstances in which a local authority shall or may revoke or suspend an approval or vary any of the conditions imposed in relation to an approval;

(h)the notification to the Registrar General of all approvals granted, renewed, revoked, suspended or varied;

(i)the notification to the district registrar for the district in which a place approved under the regulations is situated of all approvals relating to such a place which are granted, renewed, revoked, suspended or varied;

(j)the keeping by the Registrar General, district registrars and local authorities of registers of places approved under the regulations; and

(k)the issue by the Registrar General of guidance supplementing the provision made by the regulations.

(3)A person who has made an application under regulations made under subsection (1) above may appeal, by summary application, to the sheriff against any decision made by a local authority in relation to the application (including any decision to revoke or suspend, or to vary any of the conditions imposed in relation to, an approval granted in pursuance of that application).

(4)An appeal under subsection (3) above may be made only on one or more of the following grounds—

(a)that the local authority’s decision was based on an error of law;

(b)that the local authority’s decision was based on an incorrect material fact;

(c)that the local authority has acted contrary to natural justice; or

(d)that the local authority has acted unreasonably in the exercise of its discretion.

(5)An appeal under subsection (3) above shall not, unless on good cause shown, be considered by the sheriff unless lodged with the sheriff clerk within 28 days of the date on which the local authority made the decision being appealed against.

(6)In upholding an appeal under subsection (3) above, the sheriff may—

(a)remit the case with the reasons for the sheriff’s decision to the local authority for reconsideration by the local authority of its decision; or

(b)reverse or modify the local authority’s decision.

(7)A party to an appeal under subsection (3) above may appeal, on a point of law only, against the decision of the sheriff to the Court of Session within 28 days of the date of that decision.

(8)Regulations under subsection (1) above may make different provision for different cases or circumstances.

(9)The power to make regulations under subsection (1) above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument; and, subject to subsection (10) below, any such statutory instrument shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the Scottish Parliament.

(10)A statutory instrument containing the first regulations under subsection (1) above shall not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, the Scottish Parliament.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F6S. 18A inserted (25.4.2002) by 2002 asp 8, s. 1(3); S.S.I. 2002/184, art. 2

19 Marriage ceremony and registration of marriage.S

(1)An authorised registrar shall not solemnise a marriage within 14 days of the date of receipt (as entered in the marriage notice book) of a marriage notice in respect of that marriage, unless—

(a)he has received a written request from one or both of the parties to solemnise the marriage on a specified earlier date stating the reason for the request, and

(b)he has been authorised to solemnise the marriage on that earlier date by the Registrar General.

(2)A marriage shall not be solemnised by an authorised registrar unless—

(a)he has available to him at the time of the ceremony a Marriage Schedule, in respect of the marriage, completed in accordance with this Act and the prescribed fee for the marriage has been paid;

(b)both parties to the marriage are present; and

(c)two persons professing to be 16 years of age or over are present as witnesses.

(3)Immediately after the solemnisation of the marriage the Marriage Schedule shall be signed by the parties contracting the marriage, by both witnesses present thereat and by the authorised registrar who solemnised it.

(4)As soon as possible after the Marriage Schedule has been signed in accordance with subsection (3) above—

(a)in a case where the marriage has been solemnised in the registration office of the authorised registrar who solemnised it or in any such place as is mentioned in section 18(3) of this Act, that authorised registrar;

(b)in a case where the marriage has been solemnised in the registration office of another authorised registrar, that other authorised registrar,

shall cause the particulars as set forth in that Schedule to be entered in the register of marriages kept by him.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Subordinate Legislation Made

P1S. 19: for previous exercises of this power see Index to Government Orders.

P2S. 19(2): s. 25 (with ss. 3(1), 19(2) and 26) power exercised (12.12.1991) by S.I.1991/2816.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1By S.I. 1993/3152, art. 2(2) it is provided (1.4.1994) that the fee payable under s. 19(2) shall be £40.00.

20 Second marriage ceremony.S

(1)Where two persons have gone through a marriage ceremony with each other outside the United Kingdom, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, but they are not, or are unable to prove that they are, validly married to each other in Scots law, an authorised registrar, on an application made to him by those persons, may, subject to the approval of the Registrar General and to subsection (2) below, solemnise their marriage as if they had not already gone through a marriage ceremony with each other.

(2)Sections 3 to 6 and 18 and 19 of this Act shall apply for the purpose of solemnising a marriage under this section except that—

(a)there shall be submitted to the authorised registrar a statutory declaration by both parties—

(i)stating that they have previously gone through a marriage ceremony with each other; and

(ii)specifying the date and place at which, and the circumstances in which, they went through that ceremony;

(b)section 5(4)(b) of this Act shall not apply in respect of the parties already being married to each other;

(c)the Marriage Schedule shall contain such modifications as the Registrar General may direct to indicate that the parties have previously gone through a marriage ceremony with each other; and

(d)after the Marriage Schedule has been signed in accordance with section 19(3) of this Act, the authorised registrar shall make an endorsement on it in the following terms—

The ceremony of marriage between the parties mentioned in this Schedule was performed in pursuance of section 20 of the Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977, following a statutory declaration by them that they had gone through a ceremony of marriage with each other on the day of 19 , at

Dated the day of 19 ,

(Signature of authorised registrar).

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