Page:NCGLE v Minister of Home Affairs.djvu/84

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Ackermann J

benefits; whether there is a partnership agreement and what its contents are; and whether and to what extent the partners have made provision in their wills for one another. None of these considerations is indispensable for establishing a permanent partnership. In order to apply the above criteria, those administering the Act are entitled, within the ambit of the Constitution and bearing in mind what has been said in this judgment, to take all reasonable steps, by way of regulations or otherwise, to ensure that full information concerning the permanent nature of any same-sex life partnership, is disclosed.

The Order

[89]No case has been made out for the suspension of an order giving effect to such reading in. Permanent same-sex life partners are entitled to an effective remedy for the breach of their rights to equality and dignity. In the circumstances of this case an effective remedy is one that takes effect immediately. At the same time, if the order were to have retrospective effect, it might cause uncertainty concerning the validity of decisions taken and acts performed in the past, in good faith and in reliance on the provisions of the Act as they then read, with regard to applications under the Act by partners in permanent same-sex life partnerships. In my view such uncertainty ought, if possible, to be avoided by limiting the order so that it has no retrospective effect. Such an order can cause no prejudice to partners in permanent same-sex life partnerships who wish to seek afresh, or persist with seeking, relief under the Act, for nothing prevents them from doing so immediately after the order is granted. It is therefore just and equitable to make such a limiting order.