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An examination of relationship registration schemes in Australia


Rundle, O, An examination of relationship registration schemes in Australia, Australian Journal of Family Law, 25, (2) pp. 121-152. ISSN 0817-623X (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Australia currently has five distinct systems of personal relationship registration: marriage (Commonwealth), civil partnerships (ACT), registered de facto relationships (NSW), deeds of (significant and caring) relationships (Tasmania), and registered domestic and caring relationships (Victoria). This article considers the historical context in which each scheme was legislated, compares the schemes, briefly considers some usage statistics and outlines the benefits and drawbacks of non-married registration. The policy justification for non-married registration alternatives in the context of Australia's equal treatment of married and non-married couples is explored. It is concluded that a nationally consistent relationship registration system is desirable, with both marriage and an alternative offered to couples in addition to presumptive recognition. Marriage equality for same sex couples would not make the state and territory registration schemes redundant. Maintaining choice about relationship registration respects diversity and responds to community need. Some suggestions for immediate and relatively minor reforms are suggested, which would facilitate greater consistency.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:relationship registration, marriage, civil partnerships, de facto relationship, deeds of relationship, registered relationship, equal treatment, policy
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Law in context
Research Field:Family law
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Rundle, O (Dr Olivia Rundle)
ID Code:75490
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2012-02-01
Last Modified:2017-11-21
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