This year a thirty year old businessman from Cardiff became the first person in the UK to be jailed under the forced marriage laws introduced in 2014.
As it is likely that more prosecutions will follow, Sukhdip Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors takes a look at the law and the penalties that can be imposed for breaching them.
What Is A Forced Marriage? | Kangs Forced Marriage Advisory Team
A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not consent to the marriage, or when consent is obtained under duress which can include physical, sexual, psychological, financial and emotional pressures.
The Legislation | Kangs Criminal Defence Team
- The legislation, which came into force on the 16th June 2014 in England and Wales, is part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 which criminalises the use of violence, threats, deception or any other form of coercion for the purpose of forcing any person into marriage, or into leaving the UK with the intention of forcing that person to marry.
- In 2017, in order to encourage more prosecutions, the Government introduced lifelong anonymity for victims of forced marriages, encouraging more victims to come forward.
- The Forced Marriage Civil Protection Act 2007 provides for victims, or those at risk, to apply for a Protection Order under civil legislation in the family Courts, any breach of which is a criminal offence attracting a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.
- The maximum penalty for the offence of Forced Marriage is seven years imprisonment.
- The Government has also encouraged all enforcement agents to pursue perpetrators in all countries where a UK national is involved.
How Can We Help? | Kangs National Forced Marriage Solicitors
Any allegation relating to forced marriage is very serious and it is crucial that expert legal advice is sought immediately.
Who Can I Contact? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
Please feel free to contact our crime team through any of the following who will be happy to speak to you and guide you: