Wilkinson v Kitzinger and others: FD 31 Jul 2006

The parties had gone through a ceremony of marriage in Columbia, being both women. After the relationship failed, the claimant sought a declaration that the witholding of the recognition of same-sex marriages recoginised in a foreign jurisdiction was an infringement of her human rights.
Held: Such a relationship is recognised in England as a civil partnership, and not as a marriage. That was not an infringment of the claimant’s human rights and no declaration of incompatibility was made in respect of s11(3) of the 1973 Act.

Sir Mark Potter President
[2006] EWHC 2022 (Fam), Times 21-Aug-2006, [2006] HRLR 36, [2007] 1 FCR 183, [2007] UKHRR 164, [2007] 1 FLR 295, [2006] Fam Law 1030
Family Law Act 1986 55, Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 11(c), Human Rights Act 1998 4
England and Wales
CitedHyde v Hyde and Woodmansee 20-Mar-1866
A marriage contracted in a country where polygamy is lawful, between a man and a woman who profess a faith which allows polygamy, is not a, marriage as understood in Christendom; and although it is a valid marriage by the lex loci, and at the time . .
CitedCorbett v Corbett (otherwise Ashley) FD 1-Feb-1970
There had been a purported marriage in 1963 between a man and a male to female trans-sexual.
Held: Because marriage is essentially a union between a man and a woman, the relationship depended on sex, and not on gender. The law should adopt the . .
CitedBellinger v Bellinger HL 10-Apr-2003
Transgender Male to Female not to marry as Female
The parties had gone through a form of marriage, but Mrs B had previously undergone gender re-assignment surgery. Section 11(c) of the 1973 Act required a marriage to be between a male and a female. It was argued that the section was incompatible . .
CitedMette v Mette 1859
Where somebody with English domicile purports to marry in another jurisdiction, but the parties lack capacity to marry in English law, the marriage is not recognised in England. . .
CitedBrooks v Brooks HL 1861
. .
CitedBerthiaume v Dastous HL 1930
Under the rules of private international law the form of marriage is generally governed by the local law of the place of celebration.
Lord Dunedin said: ‘If there is one question better settled than any other in international law, it is that . .
CitedPugh v Pugh 1951
The court considered the age requirement for capacity to marry. . .
CitedPadolecchia v Padolecchia FD 1968
Ante-nuptial domicile sets capacity law
The husband domiciled in Italy was divorced from his first wife in Mexico. The divorce was not recognised in Italy. The husband then went to live in Denmark and during a one day visit to England went through a ceremony of marriage with a woman . .
CitedVervaeke v Smith CA 1981
The issue was whether a Belgian decree pronouncing void a marriage celebrated in England should be recognised here. The parties had entered into the marriage with no intention of ever living together. Relying on its notion of public policy, the . .
CitedVervaeke v Smith HL 1983
A petitioner for a decree of nullity of an English marriage in the English courts on the grounds of lack of consent to the marriage, having failed to obtain such decree, obtained a declaration from the Belgian court that the English marriage, was . .
CitedLawrence v Lawrence 1985
Exceptionally the court may look at the capacity of a party to marry in a particular jursidiction by reference to the intended family home rather than the ante-nuptial domicile. . .
CitedRees v The United Kingdom ECHR 17-Oct-1986
The applicant had been born and registered as a female, but later came to receive treatment and to live as a male. He complained that the respondent had failed to amend his birth certificate.
Held: The court accepted that, by failing to confer . .
CitedJohnston and Others v Ireland ECHR 18-Dec-1986
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Preliminary objection rejected (victim); Preliminary objection rejected (non-exhaustion); Violation of Art. 8; Pecuniary damage – claim rejected; Non-pecuniary damage . .
CitedSecretary of State for Work and Pensions v M HL 8-Mar-2006
The respondent’s child lived with the estranged father for most of each week. She was obliged to contribute child support. She now lived with a woman, and complained that because her relationship was homosexual, she had been asked to pay more than . .
CitedF v Switzerland ECHR 18-Dec-1987
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 12; Non-pecuniary damage – finding of violation sufficient; Costs and expenses award – domestic proceedings; Costs and expenses award – Convention . .
CitedB And L v The United Kingdom ECHR 13-Sep-2005
The claimants said that UK law was inconsistent in its treatment of marriage between in-laws, since it provided that it was available only by means of a private Act of parliament.
Held: The provision was irrational and infringed the human . .
CitedN v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 5-May-2005
The applicant had sought asylum here, but her application was rejected. She was suffering advanced HIV/AIDS. With continued proper treatment she would survive several years. If returned to Uganda she would not receive that treatment and would not . .
CitedCossey v The United Kingdom ECHR 27-Sep-1990
A male to female transsexual who had undergone full gender reassignment surgery wished to marry. The court held that despite the Resolution of the European Parliament on 12th September 1989 and Recommendation 1117 adopted by the Parliamentary . .
CitedGhaidan v Godin-Mendoza HL 21-Jun-2004
Same Sex Partner Entitled to tenancy Succession
The protected tenant had died. His same-sex partner sought a statutory inheritance of the tenancy.
Held: His appeal succeeded. The Fitzpatrick case referred to the position before the 1998 Act: ‘Discriminatory law undermines the rule of law . .
CitedNiemietz v Germany ECHR 16-Dec-1992
A lawyer complained that a search of his offices was an interference with his private life.
Held: In construing the term ‘private life’, ‘it would be too restrictive to limit the notion of an ‘inner circle’ in which the individual may live his . .
CitedRegina v Special Adjudicator ex parte Ullah; Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 17-Jun-2004
The applicants had had their requests for asylum refused. They complained that if they were removed from the UK, their article 3 rights would be infringed. If they were returned to Pakistan or Vietnam they would be persecuted for their religious . .
CitedBotta v Italy ECHR 24-Feb-1998
The claimant, who was disabled, said that his Article 8 rights were infringed because, in breach of Italian law, there were no facilities to enable him to get to the sea when he went on holiday.
Held: ‘Private life . . includes a person’s . .
CitedKarner v Austria ECHR 24-Jul-2003
A surviving same-sex partner sought a right of succession to a tenancy (of their previously shared flat). Interveners ‘pointed out that a growing number of national courts in European and other democratic societies require equal treatment of . .
CitedSheffield and Horsham v The United Kingdom ECHR 30-Jul-1998
It is within a nation’s margin of appreciation to refuse to re-register birth details of people who had undergone sex-changes. Similarly it was not a human rights infringement not to allow post operative trans-sexuals to marry. However the court was . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department Ex parte Anderson HL 25-Nov-2002
The appellant had been convicted of double murder. The judge imposed a mandatory life sentence with a minimum recommended term. The Home Secretary had later increased the minimum term under the 1997 Act. The appellant challenged that increase.
CitedGoodwin v The United Kingdom ECHR 11-Jul-2002
The claimant was a post operative male to female trans-sexual. She claimed that her human rights were infringed when she was still treated as a man for National Insurance contributions purposes, where she continued to make payments after the age at . .
CitedMata Estevez v Spain ECHR 10-May-2001
The claimant complained that the state did not give proper recognition of his relationship with his deceased same sex partner.
Held: The court noted the growing tendency in a number of European states towards the legal and judicial recognition . .
CitedRegina v A (Complainant’s Sexual History) (No 2) HL 17-May-2001
The fact of previous consensual sex between complainant and defendant could be relevant in a trial of rape, and a refusal to allow such evidence could amount to a denial of a fair trial to a defendant. Accordingly, where the evidence was so relevant . .
CitedIn re S (Minors) (Care Order: Implementation of Care Plan) HL 14-Mar-2002
Section 3(1) of the 1998 Act is not available where the suggested interpretation is contrary to express statutory words or is by implication necessarily contradicted by the statute. The judge’s task is to interpret, not to legislate. The proposed . .
CitedFrette v France ECHR 26-Feb-2002
A single homosexual man complained that the respondent state had made it impossible for him to adopt a child.
Held: The claim was within the ambit of article 8 as regards respect for family life, but the court dismissed the claim under article . .
CitedVan Der Mussele v Belgium ECHR 23-Nov-1983
There is discrimination only if the cases under comparison are not sufficiently different to justify the difference in treatment. This expressed by saying that the two cases must be in an ‘analogous situation’. The social security system is a . .
CitedCarson, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; Reynolds v Same HL 26-May-2005
One claimant said that as a foreign resident pensioner, she had been excluded from the annual uprating of state retirement pension, and that this was an infringement of her human rights. Another complained at the lower levels of job-seeker’s . .
CitedPretty v The United Kingdom ECHR 29-Apr-2002
Right to Life Did Not include Right to Death
The applicant was paralysed and suffered a degenerative condition. She wanted her husband to be allowed to assist her suicide by accompanying her to Switzerland. English law would not excuse such behaviour. She argued that the right to die is not . .
CitedPetrovic v Austria ECHR 27-Mar-1998
The applicant was refused a grant of parental leave allowance in 1989. At that time parental leave allowance was available only to mothers. The applicant complained that this violated article 14 taken together with article 8.
Held: The . .
CitedSmith and Grady v The United Kingdom ECHR 27-Sep-1999
The United Kingdom’s ban on homosexuals within the armed forces was a breach of the applicants’ right to respect for their private and family life. Applicants had also been denied an effective remedy under the Convention. The investigations into . .
CitedMichalak v London Borough of Wandsworth CA 6-Mar-2002
The appellant had occupied for a long time a room in a house let by the authority. After the death of the tenant, the appellant sought, but was refused, a statutory tenancy. He claimed to be a member of the tenant’s family, and that the list of . .
CitedShackell v United Kingdom ECHR 27-Apr-2000
The court held inadmissible a claim by an unmarried woman to widow’s benefit. The parties having chosen not to marry, they could not complain of not having the legal benefits of a marriage. The promotion of marriage by way of limited benefits for . .
CitedFitzpatrick v Sterling Housing Association Ltd HL 28-Oct-1999
Same Sex Paartner to Inherit as Family Member
The claimant had lived with the original tenant in a stable and long standing homosexual relationship at the deceased’s flat. After the tenant’s death he sought a statutory tenancy as a spouse of the deceased. The Act had been extended to include as . .
CitedSalgueiro Da Silva Mouta v Portugal ECHR 21-Dec-1999
There was a difference in treatment between the applicant and a comparator based on the applicant’s sexual orientation, a concept which is undoubtedly covered by Article 14. The list set out in this provision is of an indicative nature and is not . .
See AlsoWilkinson v Kitzinger and Another FD 12-Apr-2006
The petitioner intended to seek a declaration as to her marital status. She and the respondent had married in a civil ceremony in British Columbia in 2003. She sought a declaration of incompatibility with regard to section 11(3) of the 1973 Act so . .

Cited by:
CitedSmith v Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Another QBD 8-Sep-2016
The claimant had cohabited with the deceased: ‘The claimant seeks a declaration in one of two alternative forms:
i) Pursuant to s.3 of the Human Rights Act 1998 . . that s.1A(2)(a) of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 . . is to be read as including . .
CitedSteinfeld and Another v Secretary of State for Education CA 21-Feb-2017
Hetero Partnerships – wait and see proportionate
The claimants, a heterosexual couple complained that their inability to have a civil partnership was an unlawful discrimination against them and a denial of their Article 8 rights. The argument that the appellants’ case did not come within the ambit . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Family, Human Rights

Updated: 13 January 2022; Ref: scu.244130