CODE OF PRACTICE
Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants
Revised April 2018
The Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants is contained in Schedule 2 of the Marriage Regulations 2017.
1 APPLICATION OF THIS CODE OF PRACTICE
This Code of Practice applies to marriage celebrants.
Note 1: A marriage celebrant is a person registered under Subdivision C of Division 1 of Part IV of the Marriage Act 1961: see subsection 5(1) of that Act.
Note 2: Under paragraph 39I(1)(b) of that Act, if the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants is satisfied that a marriage celebrant has not complied with an obligation under section 39G of that Act, including this Code of Practice, the Registrar may take disciplinary measures against the marriage celebrant.
2 HIGH STANDARD OF SERVICE
A marriage celebrant must maintain a high standard of service in his or her professional conduct and practice. This includes (without limitation) ensuring the following:
(a) appropriate personal presentation for marriage ceremonies;
(b) punctuality for marriage ceremonies;
(c) accuracy in preparation of documents and in the conduct of marriage ceremonies.
3 RECOGNITION OF SIGNIFICANCE OF MARRIAGE
A marriage celebrant must recognise the social, cultural and legal significance of marriage and the marriage ceremony in the Australian community, and the importance of strong and respectful family relationships.
4 COMPLIANCE WITH THE ACT AND OTHER LAWS
A marriage celebrant must:
(a) comply with the requirements of the Marriage Act 1961 and the Marriage Regulations 2017 which apply to the marriage celebrant; and
(b) observe the laws of the Commonwealth and of any State or Territory in which the marriage celebrant solemnises marriages; and
(c) avoid unlawful discrimination in the provision of marriage celebrancy services.
5 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR MARRIAGE CEREMONIES
A marriage celebrant must respect the importance of the marriage ceremony to the parties and the other persons organising the ceremony. This includes (without limitation) the following:
(a) giving the parties information and guidance to enable them to choose or compose a marriage ceremony, including information to assist the parties to decide whether a marriage ceremony rehearsal is needed or appropriate;
(b) respecting the privacy and confidentiality of the parties, including by:
(i) arranging for appropriate facilities to interview parties; and
(ii) dealing appropriately with personal documents and personal information; and
(iii) maintaining appropriate facilities for the secure storage of records; and
(iv) ensuring the return of all personal documents belonging to the parties as soon as practicable (unless it is necessary to keep the documents for the ceremony);
(c) giving the parties information about how to notify the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department of any concerns or complaints they may have regarding the marriage services provided by the marriage celebrant.
6 KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS SERVICES
A marriage celebrant must:
(a) maintain an up-to-date knowledge about appropriate family relationships services in the community; and
(b) inform the parties to the marriage about the range of information and services available to them to enhance, and sustain them throughout, their relationship.