Ségolène Lapeyre and Hugh-Guy Lorriman on the recognition of French PACS under the amended Civil Partnership Act 2004
2nd July 2021
3PB Family barrister Ségolène Lapeyre and Civil law barrister Hugh-Guy Lorriman have co-authored an article for Rayden Solicitors’ Anglo-French blog on the recognition of French PACS under the amended Civil Partnership Act 2004. The article highlights the significance of including opposite-sex couples in the definition of “civil partnership”, brought about by the Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019, on the recognition of one type of “overseas relationship": the French pacte civil de solidarité (PACS).
Ségolène and Hugh-Guy explain how the removal of the same-sex requirement extends legal recognition to the overwhelming majority of pacsé couples, who are now “treated” as civil partners – whether they intended to be so treated at the time of entering the French contract or not. Ségolène and Hugh-Guy suggest recourse may be had to the public policy exception to automatic recognition in those circumstances.
In the second part of the article, Ségolène and Hugh-Guy point out that there is a temporal element to recognition. While some PACS will be treated as civil partnerships in their entirety, others will only be recognized after the amendments came into force. This is particularly significant not only because the duration of the recognized PACS is a factor to be considered in financial remedy applications, but further because some unredressed “inequality of treatment” persists between same and opposite sex couples (whether pacsé or partnered).
Ségolène and Hugh-Guy also helpfully clarify the difference between “recognition” and “registration.”
Ségolène Lapeyre is a specialist family barrister. Her practice comprises all areas of private family law, with a particular focus on financial and private law children proceedings.
Hugh-Guy Lorriman is a barrister specialising in personal injury, commercial, crime and property and estates cases.