Marriage (War Period) (Validity) Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

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Cap 258 - MARRIAGE (WAR PERIOD) (VALIDITY) ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 258 MARRIAGE (WAR PERIOD) (VALIDITY)
ORDINANCE

Gazette Number Version Date


Long title 30/06/1997


For the removal of doubts as to the validity of certain marriages celebrated in Hong Kong after the outbreak of
hostilities with Japan.


[18 June 1948]


(Originally 25 of 1948 (Cap 258 1950))

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Marriage (War Period) (Validity) Ordinance, and shall be construed as one
with the Marriage Ordinance (Cap 181), hereinafter referred to as the principal Ordinance.

Section: 2 Interpretation 30/06/1997


In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
"war period" (戰爭時期) means the period from the 8th day of December, 1941, to the 15th day of October, 1945;
"Registrar" (登記官) means the Registrar of Marriages under the principal Ordinance and includes a deputy registrar.

Section: 3 Application 71 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 71 of 1999 s. 3


Save as hereinafter appears this Ordinance shall apply to all marriages duly celebrated in Hong Kong during the
war period except non-Christian customary marriages celebrated according to the personal law and religion of the
parties.

(Amended 71 of 1999 s. 3)

Section: 4 Validation of marriages celebrated during the war period 71 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 71 of 1999 s. 3


A marriage celebrated in Hong Kong during the war period shall not be deemed invalid by reason of its having
been celebrated in a place which had not been duly licensed under section 4 of the principal Ordinance, or without
compliance with the requirements of such Ordinance concerning notice of marriage, certificate of notice, licence or
competency of the officiating minister, and, subject as is herein provided, all such marriages are hereby declared to be
and always to have been valid.

(Amended 71 of 1999 s. 3)

Section: 5 Prevailing grounds of invalidity 30/06/1997


Nothing in this Ordinance shall validate any marriage which was invalid on the ground of kindred or affinity, or
because one of the parties was under the age of sixteen years, or any marriage which would have been invalid
notwithstanding compliance with all the requirements of the said Ordinance, or any marriage which before the
commencement of this Ordinance has been declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction:

Provided further that where any marriage to which this Ordinance applies would, but for this Ordinance, have
been invalid and either party has subsequently during the life of the other party, but before the commencement of this
Ordinance, lawfully married any other person, this Ordinance shall not render the first marriage valid or affect the



Cap 258 - MARRIAGE (WAR PERIOD) (VALIDITY) ORDINANCE 2

validity of the subsequent marriage.

Section: 6 Relief against penalties applicable to ministers L.N. 362 of 1997 01/07/1997


No minister who has complied with section 7 shall be liable to any penalties under the principal Ordinance in
respect of any matter referred to in section 4 hereof and no proceedings shall be taken without the consent of the
Secretary for Justice against a minister who has not so complied in respect of a marriage to which this Ordinance
applies.

(Amended L.N. 362 of 1997)

Section: 7 Certificate by officiating minister 30/06/1997


Every minister who has officiated at a marriage to which this Ordinance applies and who has not already given
the parties a certificate in the prescribed form under the principal Ordinance shall, at the request of either party, give
such a certificate:

Provided that if such minister satisfies the Registrar that he is unable to give such a certificate because he is
unable to secure the signatures of the two witnesses to the marriage and has no certificate with their signatures in his
possession, or because he is unable to obtain information necessary to enable him to complete the certificate, it shall
suffice if the officiating minister, with the consent of the Registrar, gives a certificate which, in lieu of being signed by
two witnesses of the marriage, states the names of two such witnesses and gives such information as he and the parties
or either of them are able to supply.

(Amended 20 of 1948 s. 4)

Section: 8 Effect of certificate of marriage issued by the officiating

minister
30/06/1997



A certificate in the prescribed form under the principal Ordinance whether given before or after the
commencement of this Ordinance, or a certificate in the alternative form authorized by section 7 if countersigned by
the Registrar, shall, if given in respect of a marriage to which this Ordinance applies, be admissible as evidence of the
marriage to which the same relates in any court or before any person having by law or by consent of parties authority
to receive evidence.

(Amended 20 of 1948 s. 4)

Section: 9 Duties of the Registrar 30/06/1997


(1) The Registrar shall collect and preserve in a register in a convenient form such information in relation to
marriages to which this Ordinance applies as has already been, or may subsequently be, furnished to him, and shall for
a fee of five dollars supply any person requiring it with the information in his possession regarding a particular
marriage.

(2) The Registrar shall enter in a convenient place in such register the fact of his consent in any particular case
to the form of certificate secondly referred to in section 7, and shall note on such certificate that his consent was
obtained and sign the same.

Section: 10 Regulations 71 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 71 of 1999 s. 3


The Chief Executive in Council may make regulations prescribing- (Amended 71 of 1999 s. 3)
(a) rules, forms and fees for any application by an officiating minister for the Registrar's consent under

section 7 and for information under section 9;
(b) for further cases in which an officiating minister should be relieved from penalties notwithstanding

that he has been unable to give any certificate under section 7;
(c) generally for carrying this Ordinance into effect.



Cap 258 - MARRIAGE (WAR PERIOD) (VALIDITY) ORDINANCE 3

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