Drawbacks in civil partnerships bill may be blessing, says Faculty



Plans to open civil partnerships to different-sex couples have drawbacks, but those might be a blessing in the long run, the Faculty of Advocates has suggested.

In a submission to the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee, the Faculty said the Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill was a necessary response to a ruling by the Supreme Court.

“The policy intention of the Bill is clear. The point is to open up to different-sex couples the possibility of entering into a civil partnership, as an alternative to marriage. As matters stand, only same-sex couples have this choice.

“The Bill itself is complex. Whether it achieves the policy objective in every respect may have to wait until it is in force to be tested. There is significant scope for the Scottish Ministers to make additional provisions by regulations. This has possible drawbacks of uncertainty but, in this case, may allow any unforeseen consequences of a complex set of provisions to be addressed,” said the Faculty.