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An embarrassment of riches or a profusion of confusion? An evaluation of the continued existence of the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006 in the light of prospective domestic partnerships legislation in South Africa

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dc.contributor.author Smith, Bradley Shaun
dc.contributor.author Robinson, J A
dc.date.accessioned 2011-04-04T08:06:37Z
dc.date.available 2011-04-04T08:06:37Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.citation Smith, B. & Robinson, J.A. 2010. An embarrassment of riches or a profusion of confusion? An evaluation of the continued existence of the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006 in the light of prospective domestic partnerships legislation in South Africa. Potchefstroom electronic law journal (PELJ) = Potchefstroomse elektroniese regsblad (PER), 13(2):30-75 [http://www.nwu.ac.za/p-per/index.html] en
dc.identifier.issn 1727-3781
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10394/4078
dc.description.abstract As it stands, South African family law currently holds that the Marriage Act 25 of 1961 applies exclusively to the solemnisation of heterosexual civil marriages while samesex couples have no choice but to formalise their relationships in terms of the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006. In addition, the legal position is complicated by the fact that the latter Act not only allows both heterosexual and homosexual couples to conclude a civil union, but also provides that a civil union may take the form of either a marriage or a civil partnership, both of which enjoy the same legal recognition as, and give rise to the same legal consequences, as a civil marriage under the Marriage Act. In January 2008, a draft Domestic Partnerships Bill saw the light of day, the potential enactment of which casts significant doubt as to whether the prevailing framework should be retained. With this potential development in mind, this paper considers the desirability of maintaining the "separate but equal" status quo by: (a) comparing the South African Law Reform Commission's pre-Civil Union Act proposals with the approach eventually adopted by the legislature; (b) comparing and contrasting the post-Civil Union Act position in South Africa with that of an established and wellordered jurisdiction such as the Netherlands and, in the light hereof, considering the cases for and against repealing the Civil Union Act; and (c) by considering the desirability and practicality of the civil partnership's potential co-existence with the Domestic Partnerships Bill (as modified in accordance with a recent study). A proposal is made that could provide a less complex and better streamlined family law dispensation in South Africa. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Faculty of Law en
dc.subject Domestic partnership en
dc.subject Life partnership en
dc.subject Domestic Partnerships Bill 2008 en
dc.subject Marriage en
dc.subject Civil Union Act 17 of 2006 en
dc.subject Civil union en
dc.subject Civil partnership en
dc.subject Marriage Act 25 of 1961 en
dc.subject Civil marriage en
dc.title An embarrassment of riches or a profusion of confusion? An evaluation of the continued existence of the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006 in the light of prospective domestic partnerships legislation in South Africa en
dc.type Article en


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