ELIZABETH II

Oaths Act 2020

2020 CHAPTER 3

An Act to amend the Promissory Oaths Act 1868 to allow parliamentarians to make an oath of loyalty to their constituents instead of Her Majesty the Queen, to amend the Oaths Act 1978 allow persons to make a religious oath not involving the God of the Abrahamic religions, and for connected purposes.
Bill ID LB005
Author(s) Ser Marijn Hoyle GCTL KOBC MR PC, 1st Dux van Hoorn
Amended by N/A
First reading 2020 June 28
Royal assent 2020 August 22
Commencement 2020 August 22
Affected legislation Promissory Oaths Act 1868 (1868 c. 72)
Oaths Act 1978 (1978 c. 19)

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

1 Religious oaths

  1. Section 1, paragraph (1) of the Oaths Act 1978 is amended to read as such:

    Any oath may be administered and taken in England, Wales or Northern Ireland in the following form and manner:—

    The person taking the oath shall hold a text or other important object of his religion in his uplifted hand, and shall say or repeat after the officer administering the oath the words “I swear by Almighty God that . . . . . .”, followed by the words of the oath prescribed by law.

  2. Section 1, paragraph (3) of the Oaths Act 1978 is amended to read as such:
    If no suitable text or object can be found, or the religion of the person taking the oath prohibits such things, the oath shall be administered in any lawful manner.
  3. Any person taking an oath under the terms of the Oaths Act 1978 or Promissory Oaths Act 1868 may substitute a deïty or deïties of their faith for the words “God” or “Almighty God”.

2 Oaths not to Her Majesty the Queen

  1. Section 2 of the Promissory Oaths Act 1868 is amended to read as such:
    The oath in this Act referred to as the oath of allegiance shall be in one of the two forms following; that is to say,
    “I, , do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.”
    or
    “I, , do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the peoples of the United Kingdom, according to their respective laws and customs; preserving invariably their civil liberties, human rights, and democratic rights of self-government through their elected representatives, and that i will faithfully and truly declare my mind and opinion on all matters that come before me, without fear or favour, affection or ill will. So help me God.”

3 Retaking of Oaths for parliamentarians

  1. Any member of the House of Commons or House of Lords in the 60th Parliament of the United Kingdom who wishes to swear in again due to the changes in this act may do so.

4 Short title, commencement, and extent

  1. This Act may be cited as the Oaths Act 2020.
  2. This Act comes into force on the passing of this Act.
  3. This Act extends to the entire United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
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