Update on Law Commission

legal Dec 04, 2022


We have a short but significant update regarding the Law Commission’s recommendations to Parliament.

A meeting took place on Tuesday 15th November between the WCC (Wedding Ceremony Commission) and several Members of Parliament. One of the  purposes of the meeting was to discuss the letter sent by Humanists UK, who have requested that they solely are given the rights to carry out legal marriages to the exclusion of independent civil celebrants!

The outcome of that meeting was that clarity was achieved - in that the MPs gained a better understanding of the differences between Humanists and independent civil celebrants. 

Excellent conversations were held and there was agreement by all who attended that it shouldn't exclusively be a Humanist domain. 

The MPs recommended, and are assisting the WCC to set up, an APPG - All party Parliamentary Group who can represent us to the government.

In addition to this, on the 29th of November Baroness Blackstone asked a question in the House of Lords - essentially asking why the government can’t just add Humanists to the existing legislation. The discussion that followed was interesting because it highlighted the lack of understanding of the distinction between Humanists and independent celebrants. But the government’s response was very interesting. Lord Bellamy repeated several times that the government did not want to solve the problem for just one group (clearly showing that the government believes the Humanists don’t speak for us all) but that the government wanted to solve the problem for the whole country.  Their initial response is expected next year but they’re certainly looking to adopt the Law Commission’s report as a whole rather than just tagging the Humanists on to the existing legislation. This is encouraging.

Progress is being made at a pace and things are beginning to move. As soon as we know any more we will be in touch.

There will come a time when we ask all of you to write to your MPs. Now is not yet that moment but please be ready.