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Helen Fenwick and Daniel Fenwick

At the present time the majority of ECHR contracting states have introduced forms of registered partnerships for same sex couples, in some instances as a stepping stone to same sex marriage. The Strasbourg Court, as this chapter will argue, is close to recognizing a right to such a partnership for same sex couples under Articles 8 and 14 ECHR or Article 8 read alone. In relation to certain contracting states taking a stance opposed to, or reluctant/equivocal as to formalization of same sex relationships, the Strasbourg stance is potentially crucial. Thus this chapter argues that the Strasbourg Court should cease to hesitate on the brink of recognizing a right to such formalization, and confirm that it exists within the framework of the ECHR.