Marriage Celebrant's Code of Practice
Australian Marriage Celebrants' Code of Conduct
Did you know that Australian registered marriages are bound by a code of conduct? Paragraph 39G(a) of the Marriage Act requires Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants to comply with the Code of Practice in Schedule 1A to the Marriage Regulations. The Code of Practice imposes legal obligations on all Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants.
Some of the key elements of the Marriage Celebrants' Code of Conduct are listed below:
Item 4 requires Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants to solemnise marriages according to the legal requirements of the Marriage Act, to observe the laws of the Commonwealth and of the State or Territory where the marriage is solemnised and ensure there is no unlawful discrimination in the provision of marriage celebrancy services.
Item 5 lists a number of requirements relating to the preparation for, and the conduct of, the marriage ceremony. Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants must: - respect the privacy and confidentiality of the couple - ensure secure storage of all records relating to the solemnisation of any marriages - ensure they are available at the venue for the ceremony no later than the time agreed with the parties - if the celebrant has agreed to perform more than one marriage ceremony on the same day, be available at the venue for each marriage ceremony at least 20 minutes before the agreed commencement of each ceremony (unless consecutive ceremonies are being held at the same venue) - ensure marriage documents are completed accurately and the relevant marriage paperwork is forwarded to the relevant State or Territory BDM for registration of the marriage within 14 days of solemnising the marriage, and - inform couples that they are able to make a complaint if they are unhappy with the Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant’s service, and provide couples with information provided by the department on how to make complaints.
Item 6 requires Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants to maintain up-to-date knowledge about the range of information and services designed to enhance and sustain marrying couples throughout their relationship, not just in the period immediately preceding the marriage ceremony. Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants must also inform marrying couples about this range of services. Meeting this obligation requires ongoing action by Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants. The family relationship services available in their area should be reviewed by them annually at least to ensure the information they provide to marrying couples is up-to-date.