The ICLR hosted its 2013 Annual Lecture at The Law Society on Wednesday 25th April. The Rt Honourable Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, delivered a fascinating survey of the law surrounding the institution of marriage from the 18th century to the present day.

In a wide ranging lecture on the subject, Sir Munby described the evolution from Victorian notions of “marriage as understood in ‘Christendom’” through to the infinitely more complex modern legal landscape surrounding the idea of what constitutes a valid marriage, consummation and divorce. “It is for Parliament to decide where we go, to decide what in the modern age we mean by marriage. Marriage is and always has been fundamental to human beings. But what is the essence or nature of marriage? Is it still what Lord Penzance in Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee (1866) LR 1 P&D 130 thought or is it something different? We must await the Parliamentary verdict.

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ICLE Annual Lecture 2013