Criminalisation of forced marriage: taking it underground or to bringing perpetrators to justice?

July 22nd, 2014 in General

On 16 June 2014 it became a criminal offence to force another person to marry against their will, a crime punishable by up to seven years imprisonment. The new criminal offences will sit alongside the existing civil legislation, namely for forced marriage protection orders (FMPOs).

There is no requirement for a FMPO to be in place for the new criminal offences to be committed, however, where an FMPO is in place, further new legislation provides that breach of an FMPO is punishable by up to five years imprisonment provided that the perpetrator is aware that the FMPO has been made.

In the past few weeks there has been considerable debate on the question of whether the change is a good or a bad one. What will the fallout be?

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