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The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 (the Act) received royal assent on 26 July 2007. As part of the process of bringing the Act into force, the Ministry of Justice have published a consultation today exploring how the Act should work in practice. In particular, they want to consult on how to enable orders to be made in circumstances when victims feel unable or unwilling to make an application themselves.
The Act enables a victim or a relevant third party to make an application for a Forced Marriage Protection Order without the court's permission. Any other person may only apply if they obtain the court's permission first. A relevant third party is a person (or an organisation), specified by the Lord Chancellor who may apply on behalf of another without obtaining the permission of the court.
This consultation is focused on the role of the relevant third party. It asks for responses on what need there is for relevant third parties, what type of people or organisations should act and what safeguards are needed. It also invites practical suggestions on how the making of an application can be adapted to meet the needs of those who use the Act.
The consultation closing date is 14 March 2008.
The consultation can be found on the Ministry of Justice's website: http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/cp3107.htm.
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