The bill to open civil partnerships to different sex couples is complex, and resort may need to be had to its regulation making powers to achieve its intentions, the Faculty of Advocates has suggested.
In its submission to the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities & Human Rights Committee, which is considering the bill at stage 1, Faculty says the Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill is a necessary response to a ruling by the UK Supreme Court.
However it comments: "The bill itself is complex. Whether it achieves the policy objective in every respect may have to wait until it is in force to be tested. There is significant scope for the Scottish ministers to make additional provisions by regulations. This has possible drawbacks of uncertainty but, in this case, may allow any unforeseen consequences of a complex set of provisions to be addressed."
Faculty notes a possible remaining point of discrimination, in that whereas same sex couples in a civil partnership are able to convert their relationship into marriage, married couples who were previously unable to enter into a civil partnership will not have that option.
It also observes: "If.. civil partnership for opposite sex couples is intended to be an alternative to marriage then the [continuing] omission of adultery as a ground of dissolution may at least require some explanation."