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Only nine responses to forced marriage consultation

Date:6 OCT 2008

The Ministry of Justice has published its response to the consultation paper 'Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 - Court Rules' which was published on 31 January and closed on 14 March 2008.

Despite the Justice Minister Bridget Prentice urging more practitioners to respond the consultation the day before it closed, only nine responses to the consultation paper were received.

Of the responses four were from the legal profession and the judiciary and two were from victim support groups. One response was received from a local authority domestic violence team, a member of the public and CAFCASS Cymru.

The consultation invited comments about who should be allowed to make third party applications to courts for a Forced Marriage Protection Order on behalf of a victim who may be unable or afraid to go to court.

Generally the approach of basing the draft rules on existing rules for part 4 of the Family Law Act 1996 was welcomed by respondents. The Association of District Judges said: "The decision to model Forced Marriage Protection Orders as far as possible on the Part 4 Family Law Act procedure has our whole hearted support.

The Family Justice Council said: "The rules appear comprehensive and appropriately based on existing orders under part 4 of the Family Law Act 1996, with some necessary differences"

The Act is due to come into force on 25 November 2008.

To download a copy of the response from the Ministry of Justice's website click here.