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Recent developments in the law relating to female genital mutilation [2016] CFLQ 87

Date:20 JAN 2016
Third slide
Ruth Gaffney-Rhys, University of South Wales

Keywords: FGM - Protection Orders – Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 – Serious Crime Act 2015

The Serious Crime Act 2015 introduced Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders, modelled on Forced Marriage Protection Orders, and just a few days after the Act came into force, orders were made in Re E (Children)(Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders) to safeguard three young Nigerian girls at risk of FGM. This commentary considers the facts of the case, which illustrate the risks that some young girls residing in the UK are exposed to; and the judgment, which reveals the benefits and the drawbacks of the law. The commentary then examines the problems that existed with the law prior to the Serious Crime Act 2015 and the reasons why the provisions of Serious Crime Act 2015 that pertain to FGM were introduced. The paper concludes that the recent legislative reforms are to be welcomed and these, together with the package of measures that the Government has promised, should send a clear message that FGM will not be tolerated. But whether a significant reduction in its occurrence will be achieved as a result of the changes is questionable, given that previous efforts do not appear to have been successful.

This article was published in Child and Family Law Quarterly in Issue 1, Vol 28, 2016. The final published version of this article was made publicly available here 24 months after its publication date, under a CC-BY-NC licence. 

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