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Curbing the Scourge of Predatory Marriages by Legislation – Update

On 12 November 2019 I posted a blog in which I discussed Saskatchewan’s Bill No 175, entitled the Marriage Amendment Act, 2019.[1] In the blog I applauded the legislation, but criticized it too, because in my opinion it went only partway in preventing predatory marriages.

The Bill has now been enacted and received Royal Assent on 16 March 2020, as the Marriage Amendment Act, 2020.[2]

Section 10 of the Act adds s. 32.1 to the Marriage Act, 1995.[3] It authorizes the court to declare that a valid marriage was not effected if one of the parties did not provide valid consent to the marriage. Significantly, s. 32.1 permits various people to bring an action for such a declaration, including a party to the marriage, a family member of one of the parties to the marriage, any other person who has a close personal connection to one of the parties to the marriage, and the Public Guardian and Trustee if acting as a guardian for one of the parties to the marriage.

Further, s. 16 of the Act repeals the “revocation on marriage provisions in ss. 16(a) and 17 of the Wills Act, 1996.[4]

Perhaps this legislation will provide impetus for other provinces to make similar amendments to their legislation.

[1]      Sareh (Lua) Ebrahimi had posted another blog on the Bill a few days earlier, entitled “New Legislation to Tackle ‘Predatory Marriages’ in Saskatchewan.

[2]      S.S. 2020, c. 8.

[3]      S.S. 1995, c. M-4.1.

[4]      S.S. 1996, c. W-14.1.

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