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When the civil partnership act (2004) comes into force, it will make it possible for the relationships of same-sex couples to have the same legal status as married couples. For example, this Act will ensure that same-sex partners cannot be compelled to give evidence against each other in a court hearing, as is now the case for married couples (see compellable witness).
A civil partnership will be subject to similar formality requirements as a Marriage and, like a marriage, will last until the death of either of the partners or until it is annulled.