The significant evolution in family law in the last four decades has seen the breaking down of traditional barriers: Illegitimacy has been swept away, and children conceived through assisted reproduction are now recognised as the legal children of their parents, even absent a genetic link. Transgender heirs are also fully recognised in their new gender. Yet fundamental exceptions remain in the case of succession to titles, honours, dignities and coats of arms, discriminating against children born out of marriage, or non-genetic children, or transgender children. The decision of the Privy Council in Pringle of Stichill emphasised this divergence, and raised the question of whether law reform is needed. In this article, we explore the rules which govern succession to titles and dignities and the two-tier system which has arisen. By pointing out the inconsistencies and lack of rationale therefor, we make the case for law reform to bring titles and dignities into line with the current understanding of family and succession.
|Number of pages||28|
|Journal||Cambridge Law Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2018|
- family law
- Pringle of Stichill
- transgender heirs
ASJC Scopus subject areas