ELS Conference and AGM for 2021 took place on 20 March

March 23, 2021

The Society’s planned Residential Conference for 2021 instead had to take place online because of COVID restrictions, but a happy consequence of this was that over 200 people registered to attend.

The topic of the day was ‘The Solemnization of Matrimony: past, present and Future’ and three excellent papers were given:

  • Getting married: the origins of the current law and problems – Professor Rebecca Probert, University of Exeter
  • The Law Commission’s project on weddings law reform – Professor Nicholas Hopkins, Law Commission
  • Three Problems with Marriage Law – Professor Russell Sandberg, Cardiff University

The Powerpoint slides from these presentations can be downloaded here. Video recordings will be published on the ELS Youtube channel in the coming days. The conference ended with a panel discussion bringing together themes of the day. The Society is most grateful to the three speakers for their very interesting, learned, and topical contributions.


During the day, the Society’s AGM was also held, its second as a CIO. The Society’s chairman, Professor Mark Hill QC, stepped down after seven years in the post. Our President, the Rt Revd Christopher Hill, spoke movingly of Mark’s leadership during these years, of all that the Society has achieved, and all the ways it has grown in this time. Mark relinquishes the chair with all our thanks.

Elizabeth Wilson was elected as the new chair of the ELS, to succeed Mark Hill. We plan to post a message from Lizzie to the membership in the near future.

More candidates were nominated to fill elected trustee places than at any time in recent memory. The President remarked how this enthusiasm demonstrates the health and vitality of the Society.

The trustees newly elected are:

Paul Benfield
Lee Coley
Edward Dobson
Sam Maginnis
Neil Patterson.