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In a decision endorsed by the Court of Appeal, the High Court in Hudson v Leigh (Status of Non-Marriage) has confirmed that English and Welsh law recognises the concept of non-marriage or non-existent marriage. This commentary examines the definition of non-marriage and argues that the criteria established by the High Court in Hudson v Leigh should better protect members of minority ethnic groups who go through a religious ceremony without realising that it will not effect a lawful marriage. It also considers whether English law would recognise the concept of a non-existent civil partnership, an issue that the court in Hudson v Leigh did not have to address.
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