An Act to make provision for protecting individuals against being forced to enter into marriage without their free and full consent and for protecting individuals who have been forced to enter into marriage without such consent; and for connected purposes.
The centrepiece of the Act is the forced marriage order. A person threatened with forced marriage can apply to court for a forced marriage order can contain whatever provisions which the court finds would be appropriate to prevent the forced marriage from taking place, or to protect a victim of forced marriage from its effects, and may include such measures as confiscation of passport or restrictions on contact with the victim. The subject of a forced marriage order can be not just the person to whom the forced marriage will occur, but also any other person who aids, abets or encourages the forced marriage. A marriage can be considered forced not merely on the grounds of threats of physical violence to the victim, but also through threats of physical violence to third parties (e.g. the victim's family), or even self-violence (e.g. marriage procured through threat of suicide.) A person who violates a force marriage order is subject to contempt of court proceedings and may be arrested.
It was introduced as a private members bill into the House of Lords by Lord Lester of Herne Hill on the 16 November 2006. It was passed by the House of Lords on 13 June 2007, passed by the House of Commons on the 17 July 2007, and received royal assent on 26 July 2007. Unusually, although this was a private members bill, almost the entire contents of the bill was replaced by Government amendments in the Grand Committee, with the support of Lord Lester.
Section 4 - Short title, commencement and extent