Scottish Parliament to consult on Age of Marriage

Date: 9th February 2024
Category: General measures of implementation

people thinking

The Scottish Government is actively reviewing the legal age of marriage following the recommendation from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to prohibit marriages involving individuals under 18 in Scotland.

In response to a question from an MSP, the Scottish Government confirmed that it has been gathering opinions and evidence on the matter and has decided to initiate a formal consultation in 2024. The consultation will aim to explore the implications of potential changes to the minimum age of marriage and civil partnership, considering the broader rights granted to 16- and 17-year-olds.

The Scottish Government also plans to consult on a provision in the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 that has not yet been implemented. This provision aims to establish qualifying requirements for religious and belief bodies with celebrants who officiate marriages and register civil partnerships, with a focus on maintaining the dignity of ceremonies and addressing issues like forced marriages and civil partnerships.

 The Scottish Government aims to publish the consultation by summer 2024.