Legal Perspective

The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 is a Civil Order. The aim of this Act is to protect the victims of forced marriage and to prevent such marriages from taking place. The Act is divided into four sections and two schedules.

Where a forced marriage has or is about to take place, courts will be able to make orders to protect the victim, or potential victim and help remove them from that situation.

Under the Act, the courts have the power to make a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO), to stop someone from forcing another person into marriage.  The courts have a wide range of sanctions available, to enable them to respond effectively to the individual circumstances of the case and prevent or pre-empt forced marriages from taking place.

The courts also have the power to attach powers of arrest to Forced Marriage Protection Orders (FMPO), so that if someone disobeys an order they can be arrested and brought back to the original court to consider the alleged breach. They can also issue a warrant of arrest where a power of arrest is not attached.

The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act will also:- 

      enable people to apply for an injunction to the County Court, rather than having to go straight to the High Court

       allow third parties to apply for an injunction on behalf of someone else. Currently, the only Relevent Third Party approved 
       by the Ministry of Justice is the Local Authority, however this should not deter any third party from applying for an order.

Breaching a Forced Marriage Protection Order is a civil contempt of court.