Case details

R (on the application of Steinfeld and another) (Appellants) v Secretary of State for the International Development (in substitution for the Home Secretary and the Education Secretary) (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2017/0060

Case summary


Whether the bar on different-sex couples entering into civil partnerships breaches the appellants’ rights under Article 14 together with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.


Under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 ("CPA"), civil partnerships are available only to same-sex couples. The appellants are a different-sex couple in a committed long-term relationship, which they wish to formalise. They have deep-rooted and genuine ideological objections to marriage based upon what they consider to be its historically patriarchal nature. They wish instead to enter into a civil partnership, which they consider would reflect their values and give due recognition to the equal nature of their relationship. They sought judicial review of the respondent’s continuing decision not to make changes to CPA to allow different-sex couples to enter in civil partnerships.

Judgment appealed

[2017] EWCA Civ 81


  1. Rebecca Hannah Steinfeld
  2. Charles Robin Keidan

Secretary of State for the Home Department (in substitution for Secretary of State for Education)



Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Reed, Lady Black

Hearing start date

14 May 2018

Hearing finish date

14 May 2018

Watch hearing
14 May 2018 Morning session Afternoon session