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Liberalising Status Relationships: Part I

By Caragh Deery - Law Student @ St Hilda's College, Oxford


The previous position under the law was that marriage was the only relationship formally recognised by the law, or the only so-called "status relationship". There has long been disagreement as to what marriage is, however, the consensus for much of the 20th Century was that marriage was a 'union for life of one man and one woman' (Hyde v Hyde). Fortunately, in recent years, societal attitudes have observed a marked shift towards more liberal views, particularly in the context of same-sex marriage.