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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 25, 2008: Legislation Protects Victims Of Forced Marriage

New legislation to protect victims of forced marriage and prevent others from the same fate has come into force. The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 will enable courts to prevent forced marriages and order those responsible for forcing another into marriage to change their behaviour or face jail. It also provides recourse for those already forced into marriage.

Justice Minister Bridget Prentice said:

'This new law is a powerful tool that will help ensure that no-one is forced into marriage against their will and those already in such marriages will receive protection. It is fitting that the law comes into force on White Ribbon Day; the ribbon is a symbol of hope and challenges the acceptability of domestic violence. Our policies reinforce that hope and send a clear message that we are committed to providing support and help to victims and that violence of any kind will not be tolerated.'

The White Ribbon Campaign UK is part of the global campaign to ensure men take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women.

Under the Act, a Forced Marriage Protection Order will contain terms that are designed to protect the victim in their particular circumstances. Failure to comply with an order could lead to imprisonment.

Examples of the types of orders the court may make to prevent a forced marriage from occurring are:

  • to hand over passports
  • to stop intimidation and violence
  • to reveal the whereabouts of a person
  • to stop someone from being taken abroad

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.

The Government plans to specify local authorities as relevant third parties once the necessary safeguards are in place and this is expected to take effect at a later date. Until then anyone, including local authorities will still be able to apply for a forced marriage protection order on behalf of a victim of forced marriage with the leave of the court.

The Act supports and has been made possible by the work of the Home Office and Foreign Office's joint Forced Marriage Unit and the many voluntary and charitable organisations that provide support. The joint FCO/Home Office Forced Marriage Unit was launched in January 2005 as the UK's 'one-stop shop' for developing government policy on forced marriage, co-ordinating outreach projects and providing support and information to those at risk.

Shaminder Ubhi, Director of the Ashiana Network said:

'We very much hope that the Forced Marriage Act will be of value to those at risk of forced marriage; the measures have been put in place to enable people to seek protection through court orders and we hope this will help prevent forced marriages and assist those already forced into marriages. Understandably, not all people will want to seek legal redress but certainly this Act sends a clear message that forced marriage will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be held accountable.'

Importantly, the Act gives the courts discretion to deal flexibly and sensitively with the circumstances of each individual case. It employs civil remedies that offer protection to victims without criminalising members of their family.

Following public consultation, the Government is also publishing today statutory guidance setting out the strategic responsibilities of agencies in England and Wales who may be involved with handling cases of forced marriage.

Alan Campbell, Home Office Minister said:

'We are determined to do all we can to support victims of forced marriage, prevent others from becoming victims and provide police and other agencies the tools and powers they need. We are bringing into force statutory guidance for agencies such as the police, education professionals and health and social workers which pull together existing guidelines on how to recognise and handle cases of forced marriage.

'We have consulted with all agencies that have a duty to safeguard children and adults to bring together this guidance and we are confident that it will improve the support we can provide to victims of this appalling practice.'