HC Deb 17 July 1995 vol 263 cc865-6W
Mr. Cohen

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will ask the Law Commission to examine the law relating to the solemnisation of Muslim marriages, with particular reference to the need for solemnisation in a mosque to be followed by a registry office ceremony. [34324]

Mr. Nicholas Baker

I have been asked to reply.

We see no need to invite the Law Commission to undertake such an -examination. A marriage in a mosque does not by law have to be followed by a register office ceremony. The law already provides for the solemnisation of a marriage in any building registered for the purpose under section 41 of the Marriage Act 1949, and there are over 100 mosques in England and Wales registered for marriages. The trustees or governing body of a building registered for marriages may also appoint, and certify to the Registrar General, an authorised person to register marriages at the building, so that a marriage registrar need not attend at the ceremony. The 1949 Act requires the use of words of declaration and contract, prescribed in the Act, by the parties to a civil marriage and in marriage in all faiths and religions—except, for ecclesiological or historical reasons, in the Anglican, Jewish and Quaker marriage rites.