Report No. 15
38. First view: children illegitimate.-
The first view is the one generally accepted in all English-speaking countries, and that was also the law of England before the enactment quite recently of the Legitimacy Act1. In support of this view, it is said that as prohibition of certain marriages rests on grounds of public policy, it would defeat that policy if children of those marriages are regarded as legitimate, because what largely deters persons from contracting prohibited marriages is the fear that the children would be illegitimate. In other words, in a conflict between the interests of the general public and those of the innocent offspring of prohibited marriages, it is the latter that must give way to the former.
1. Legitimacy Act, 1959 (7&8 Eliz 2, Ch. 73), section 2(1).