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International Family Law

The leading authority on international family law

05 MAR 2014

The enforcement of forced marriage protection orders

This article considers the enforcement of forced marriage protection orders, in the light of the decision of the Bedfordshire Police Constabulary v RU and Another [2013] EWHC 2350 (Fam). In this particular case a young girl had successfully applied for a forced marriage protection order, which, inter alia, forbad her mother from organising a wedding. Despite this, the girl's mother and aunt arranged a marriage and as a result, the police applied for committal for contempt of court. Because they had not made the initial application, the High Court declared that the police were not able to apply for committal. This constitutes a flaw in the scheme of forced marriage protection, for a young, vulnerable person who has obtained a forced marriage protection order may be unwilling to initiate proceedings to enforce it, due to parental pressure or fear that his or her relatives will be imprisoned. The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill 2013-14 contains provisions that will remedy this particular defect, but it also proposes to criminalise forcing someone to marry, which may deter victims or potential victims from utilising civil remedies in the first place.

By Ruth Gaffney-Rhys, Reader in Law, Newport Business School, University of Wales, Newport

The full version of this article appears in the March 2014 issue of International Family Law. 

International Family Law Practice, The

International Family Law Practice, The

2016-2017

Provides comprehensive coverage of the international elements of English family law

Available in Family Law Online
International Family Law

International Family Law

The practice title for family lawyers engaged in/dealing with issues European and worldwide

Available in Family Law Online
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