Coalition of Celebrant Associations

Australia’s Peak Celebrant Body

2. Summary of Recommendations:

Issue – Ensuring equality under law for the marrying public - all marriage ceremonies, whether religious or civil, to have same basic requirements.

Recommendation 1:

That there be a review of, and amendments to, the Marriage Act to ensure the same basic requirements for all marriage ceremonies, whether conducted by civil or religious marriage celebrants.

Recommendation 2:

That amendments be made to section 45 of the Marriage Act to ensure that all couples give their consent during the ceremony in the presence of the celebrant and the witnesses.

Recommendation 3:

That amendments to Section 46(1) be made to ensure that all authorized celebrants use the same wording to explain the nature of marriage and their authorisation status to conduct a valid marriage under Australian law.

Recommendation 4:

That there be amendments to Section 113  of the Act to enable all celebrants to conduct second marriage ceremonies for couples provided that the marriage celebrant conducting the second marriage ceremony, makes it clear to the gathering that the couple are already married under Australian civil law.

Issue – Ensuring professional parity between marriage celebrants performing a “public trust” under the Commonwealth.

Recommendation 5:

That there be a review of the regulation of all authorised marriage celebrants to improve efficiency, ensure parity across the different groups providing professional marriage services and provide a consistent and measured approach to regulation appropriate to the level of risk to the public.

Recommendation 6:

That amendments be made to ensure that authorised marriage celebrants from subdivisions A and B are required to undertake a VET unit of study in marriage law prior to authorisation and complete the annual compulsory professional development units as determined by the Attorney General’s department.
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