Chapter 1: How to respond to this consultation
What this consultation is about
1.01 This consultation is seeking views on the future of civil partnership in Scotland. Civil partnership is currently open to same sex couples only. This consultation outlines two options: legislating so that no new civil partnerships could be registered in Scotland from a date in the future or the introduction of opposite sex civil partnership. Existing civil partners will be able to remain in their civil partnership, if they so wish, and continue to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as now.
Why we are consulting
1.02 We are consulting following the Supreme Court case. More details on this case are at Chapter 2.
1.03 In the chapters that follow, we have set out two options for changing the law of civil partnership along with the arguments for and against each option, and related questions.
1.04 Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process, and we aim to obtain qualitative evidence with this consultation. We will consider the views expressed in response to this consultation along with other available evidence to help inform the Scottish Government's decision.
1.05 Following this consultation, the Scottish Government intends to legislate, by introducing a Bill into the Scottish Parliament, by making an Order under the Convention Rights (Compliance) (Scotland) Act 2001 or by way of a Bill in the UK Parliament with a legislative consent motion in the Scottish Parliament.
Responding to this Consultation
1.06 We are inviting responses to this consultation by 21 December 2018.
Through Citizen Space
1.07 Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government's consultation hub, Citizen Space ( http://consult.gov.scot). Access and respond to this consultation online at https://consult.gov.scot/family-law/the-future-of-civil-partnership-in-scotland. You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted by 21 December 2018.
1.08 If you are unable to respond using our consultation hub, please complete the Respondent Information Form and Consultation Questions and send them to:The Future of Civil Partnership in Scotland
St. Andrew's House
1.09 We will not accept responses submitted by email.
No need to answer all of the questions
1.10 We welcome responses to some or all of the questions on Citizen Space or in hard copy.
Handling your response
1.11 If you respond using the consultation hub, you will be directed to the About You page before submitting your response. Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are content for your response to published. If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.
1.12 All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.
1.13 If you are unable to respond via Citizen Space, please complete and return the Respondent Information Form included in this document.
Next steps in the process
1.15 Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at http://consult.gov.scot. If you use the consultation hub to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.
1.16 Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available.
Comments and complaints
1.17 If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to the contact address above or
Scottish Government consultation process
1.18 Consultation is an essential part of the policymaking process. It gives us the opportunity to consider your opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work.
1.19 You can find all our consultations online: http://consult.gov.scot. Each consultation details the issues under consideration, as well as a way for you to give us your views, either online, by email or by post.
1.20 Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. We will publish a report of this analysis for every consultation. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:
- indicate the need for policy development or review
- inform the development of a particular policy
- help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
- be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented
1.21 While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.