Consultation 4.08

04.08 Forced Marriage (Civil Protection Act 2007) – Court Rules

The above paper sets out consultation for the court rules to support the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007. The consultation is primarily aimed at a limited number of stakeholders who have the specialised knowledge and experience to comment on the proposed rule changes and who have an interest in the rules and procedures of family courts in England and Wales.

The Act itself provides the overall framework for the courts to make a Forced Marriage Protection Order. This gives the courts a wide discretion to deal flexibly and sensitively with the circumstances of each individual case, employing civil remedies that will offer protection to victims without criminalising members of their family. The Government has announced its intention to implement the Act in autumn 2008.

The rules for the Act are made as a statutory instrument and will amend the existing Family Proceedings Rules 1991. The Family Proceedings Rule Committee (the Committee), with the approval of the Lord Chancellor, will make the rules. The Committee has already considered the draft rules and approved them for consultation. As part of the overall implementation of the Act, there will be amendments made to other existing family court legislation.

This consultation sets out the general approach adopted by the draft rules for applications for Forced Marriage Protection Orders. Generally, the rules are based upon family court rules for orders under Part 4 Family Law Act 1996. The consultation highlights the main areas where these rules are different. Those familiar with existing family court rules and procedure will be in a position to comment.

Given the above, is primarily aimed at professional family court users familiar with family court rules, practice and procedure as provided by the Family Proceedings Rules 1991, the County Court Rules 1981 and the Rules of the Supreme Court 1965 etc. Such professional users will be in a position to advise and explain the rules to victims and third parties when the Act comes into force.

A copy of the consultation can be accessed via the following Ministry of Justice web link:

If you would like to add your views on this paper please email [email protected]

To view the response please click here.