Ministry of Justice
Implementation of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 received Royal Assent in April this year. It is planned to come into effect on Monday 27 February 2023.
The Act will raise the age of marriage and civil partnership to 18 in England and Wales to protect children from the scourge of forced marriage.
This means that 16 to 17-year-olds will no longer be able to marry or enter a civil partnership under any circumstances, including with parental or judicial consent from 26 February 2023. It will not be possible for anyone under 18 to marry or enter a civil partnership after this date.
Currently forced marriage is only an offence if the person uses a type of coercion, for example threats, to cause someone to marry, or if the person lacks capacity to consent to marry under the Mental Capacity Act. The Act will therefore also expand the criminal offence of forced marriage in England and Wales to make it an offence in all circumstances to do anything intended to cause a child to marry before they turn 18. It will therefore now be an offence to cause a child under the age of 18 to enter a marriage in any circumstances, without the need to prove that a form of coercion was used. The forced marriage offence will continue to include ceremonies of marriage which are not legally binding, for example in community or traditional settings.
For full details of the provisions of this Act, see Marriage And Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 (legislation.gov.uk). This early announcement will help provide sufficient time for arrangements to be made where necessary.
Latest News from
Ministry of Justice
Thousands more neighbourhood criminals to be GPS tracked in expansion of tagging project05/10/2022 09:06:00
The Justice Secretary, Brandon Lewis MP, yesterday (Tuesday 4 October) announced that more thieves, burglars and robbers will be fitted with GPS electronic tags when they leave prison, helping cut crime and keep the public safe.
Prisoners start as apprentices at big name employers04/10/2022 12:12:00
Prisoners at open prisons in England are to start high-quality apprenticeships at big name employers thanks to change in law and the Government's skills agenda.
Offenders to face mandatory testing to cut drug-fuelled crime04/10/2022 10:15:00
Law changed to enforce randomised, compulsory drug testing for offenders after they are released from prison.
Lord Chancellor Swearing-in Speech: Brandon Lewis MP30/09/2022 12:43:00
Full text of the speech given yesterday by Brandon Lewis MP as he was sworn in as the Lord Chancellor at the Royal Courts of Justice.
New Justice Secretary agrees deal to get criminal barristers back to work30/09/2022 10:15:00
Brandon Lewis reaches agreement with Criminal Bar Association.
Deaf jurors supported by sign language interpreter for first time29/09/2022 10:15:00
For the first time in England and Wales, Deaf people have been able to fulfil their civic duty and serve on a jury, supported by British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters.
Pre-recorded evidence for rape victims available nationwide27/09/2022 10:15:00
New technology which spares victims of rape the stress of being cross-examined during a live trial is now available at every Crown Court in England and Wales.
Interest rate increased on the Court Funds Office special and basic accounts23/09/2022 13:15:00
The interest rates were increased for Court Funds Office special and basic accounts on the 2 September 2022.