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Posts Tagged ‘forced marriage’

Forced Marriage in the Republic of Ireland

I was asked yesterday to give a sense of the extent to which situations like that of G and D – the Northern Irish case of two young girls who were at risk of being forced by their parents into marriage in Pakistan which we wrote about here– are of relevance in the Republic.

I am not aware of any ‘G and D’ type cases which have come before our courts. As yet, forced marriage does not seem to be seen as a mainstream ‘family law’ or ‘women’s law’ issue in the way that it is in the UK and Northern Ireland. In 2007, the Minister for Health and Children stated in the Dail that she was satisfied ‘that all reasonable measures are in place to prevent forced marriages and to provide a remedy where full, free and informed consent is absent’. She referred to the law of nullity which allows a marriage to be set aside where it was contracted in the face of fear, duress, intimidation or undue influence. She noted that the criminal law provided several bases upon which violence used in the context of forcing another into marriage can be prosecuted. Read more…

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G and D: The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 in Northern Ireland

April 20, 2010 1 comment

In November of last year the Ministry for Justice reported that some 86 forced marriage protection orders were made in the first year of operation of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 (see the Guardian on the shortcomings of the order scheme here).

Last month, in the case of G and D (Risk of Forced Marriage: Forced Marriage Protection Order) [2010] NIFam 6 (26 March 2010),  Stephens J. examined these orders in what appears to be Northern Ireland’s first major case under the Act. The judgment is available on BAILII and the Belfast Telegraph reports here. G and D are sisters of Pakistani Muslim descent living in Northern Ireland. They are aged 12 and 14 and have 4 older brothers. When the girls were aged 10 and 11, a Trust, as the judgment has it:

brought wardship proceedings on the basis that the parents had arranged for G and D to travel to and remain for a number of years in Pakistan so that they could be educated in that country. The Trust alleged that this was a pretext, that no arrangements had been made for their education [The relevant facts are set out at [42]-[57]] and in reality, based in part on the previous experience of the forced marriages of their brothers S and T [now in their 20s] in 2005, [the High Court had determined in the course of wardship proceedings brought in respect of T in 2006 that he had indeed been forced to marry. The circumstances of his religious marriage ceremony are described at [31]-[41]] that once in Pakistan they were to be isolated, attended to and prepared so that they also could be forced  to marry… . The Trust also contend[ed] that the parents either chose to ignore the distinction between a forced and an arranged marriage or have no insight into the emotional and physical pressures that they have applied in the past and for instance still apply in a different context in relation to [their son] U [who had been excluded from the family home for refusing to obey rules established by the mother]. [Their sons U and V had visited Pakistan without being forced to marry].

Read more…

Enright on Forced and Arranged Marriage

September 28, 2009 Leave a comment

enright_maireadHRinI blogger Máiréad Enright (left) features today as a guest blogger on the excellent IntLawGrrls. In her guest post, Máiréad reflects on the phenomenon of forced and arranged marriage in the UK and the ways in which the UK law tries to counter-act these phenomena. Her guest post is substantively based on her recent article entitled “Choice, Culture and the Politics of Belonging: The Emerging Law of Forced and Arranged Marriage”, which was published in (2009) 72 Modern Law Review 331. Here is a taste of Máiréad’s post on IntLawGrrls, which can be read in full here:

The majority of reported victims of forced marriage in the United Kingdom are young women of South Asian Muslim origin. Because of this fact, the forced marriage project must be read critically against the background of a wider politics of British Muslim belonging, which is linked to the counter-terrorism and social cohesion agendas. This politics operates to exclude some British Muslims from full membership in the ‘we group’ of British citizens. The ground for exclusion is that of ‘excessive’ or ‘difficult’ culture. Those British Muslim who are presented as most bound up in cultural practice, I argue, have become the British citizen’s ‘other’, and are subject to law’s discipline on that basis.