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Whilst going through Professor Muir Hunter QC's Cork papers recently, I happened across a summary of the 61st meeting of the Cork Committee. The Paper is entitled: "ILRC - 61st MTG - Brief for Item 9 - "The Gay Brigade." The paper was written by Commander Traynor and is dated 2 July 1981. The subject matter of the paper relates to co-habitation and bankruptcy. It deals with mistresses and the subject matter of the briefing title. The paper substance does not however reflect the unusual title. The paper notes:
"Not only are spouses today treated as for practically all purposes equal, but persons (of different and even the same sex) living together are beginning to be treated by the legislature and by the courts as "quasi-spouses"...In light of these social developments, it seems to us to be in this field not only satisfactory but also necessary that in the case of such persons, so living together (at least if constituting what is now sometimes referred to as a "suitable union") they should be treated without ambiguity within the principles stated above as the basis for those cases, and that the statute should be so drawn as to postpone their mutual claims, and so as to catch their reciprocally-provided assets, in the insolvency of either, in relation to the debts of a business carried on by either, as if they were husband and wife."
This is an interesting passage for the history or insolvency, but also for the recognition of gay rights within insolvency and perhaps more generally.
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