SO UH AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE ACT.
As this important measure has non/ pas-, sed the Legislative Council, and is shortly to be carried into effect, a brief outline of some of its leading and most impartant provisions will not be unacceptable to the general reader.
As was intimated in a former number, the preseut Marriage Act has been copied from the Van Diemen's Land Marriage Act, and is conceived in the truly liberal spirit of modern legislation, provision having now been made for the celebration of marriage in the colony by persons of every religious denomination without any interference with the rights of conscience,
With this remark, we proceed to a digest of this measure, that being the more immediate object of this article, and not any examination or discussion of its provisions.
Clauses 1, 2, and 3, provide for mar- riages of members of the Churches of England, Ireland, and Scotland, and for the marriages of Quakers and Jews, ac- cording to laws and usages before made and provided in England.
Clauses 4, 5, 6, and up to 13 provide for due notice of marriages, the issuing of licenses and certificates, and the due registering of marriages, whether pro- posed by members of the Churches of England, Scotland, or Ireland, or by
Clauses 14 and 15, provide for the celebntion of marriages by dissenters in the presence of a Deputy Registrar, or " officiating minister," "according to snch form and ceremony as they may see fit to adopt", the only stipulation being, that, iu some part of the ceremony, each of the parties shall say to each other,-** I call upon these persons here present to witness, that I, A. B-, do take thee, C. D., to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)."
Clause 20 renders all marriages hitherto celebrated in the province- or its depen dencies, whether by any clergyman, mi nister of religion, or other person, as valid as though they had been celebrated under die provisions of this Act, *
Clauses 24 and 25 provide against [marriages being celebrated in any build
tings but those named iu the cércate,
and against any certificate being issued contrary to the Act, the crime in each case being that of felony- " . '
Clause the 28th has been altered from the original form in which it was intro-» duced into the Bill. In the former case/ persons knowingly and wilfully inter« marrying contrary to the provisions of this Act, were to be guilty of felony, but the marriage was to be valid in law. In the present case, the only penalty is, that pf declaring the marriage null aid void.
Clause 30th provides for this act being taken to be part of the act for the " Re gistration of Births, Deaths, and Mar riages," all the penalties ol the afore said act to be considered applicable, and to extend to offences under this act.
An " officiating minister/* in the mean ing of this act, is, according to clause 21, a minister of the Church of England,
Scotland, or Ireland, or any one entejfejtf land provided for as an "officiating mi I nister," in the following clauses :
XXXII-And be it Enacted. That anj mi nister of religion who shall''ha*e been'¡ for a perin} of twelve months in charge of a congregation consisting of at least forty householders resident in the province may apply to the Register General and the Registrar General on production ot cer tificates signed in duplicate by such forty house holders at least staring that the applicant has been for such period of twelve months a minuter of religion in charge of such congregation of which they are members shalt enter such appli cant as an officiating minister within the meaning of this Act in a book to be kept for that purpose and shall file and preserve one of such certificates among the records of his office and shall give public notice thereof in the South Australian Government Gaxxetle.
XXXIII.-And be it Enacted That it shall be lawful for the Governor on the application of any minister of religion accompanied by such proof as his Excellency may require to issue an instrument uuder his hand directing the Re gistrar General shall make entry accordingly in the book to be kept by him as aforesaid and shall file and preserve such instrument among there cords of his office and shall give public notice thereof in the South Australian Government Gazette»
XXXIV.-And be it enacted That if subse
quently to the entry of any such officiating minister as afoiesaid it shall be made to appear
to the satisfaction of the Governor that such
person has ceased to be a minister in charge of a congregation consisting of forty householders or in the case of any such persons as may have been
entered under the direction of the Governor afore
said that there are proper and sufficient reasons for disallowing such persons go entered from of ficiating in viitue of this Act it shall be lawful for his Excellency by an instrument under hts hand to direct the Registrar General to cancel
such entry accordingly and notify the same in foo* Government Gazette and such person in either case s-hall thereupon cease to be or be deemed an officiating minister within the meaning of the Act.
The act to take effect from and after the 1st of June next.