Forced marriage protection orders—withholding information
Forced marriage protection orders—withholding information

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Forced marriage protection orders—withholding information
  • Confidentiality
  • Withholding information
  • Vulnerable parties

Confidentiality

The Ministry of Justice's document, Apply for a forced marriage protection order (the Guide), recommends that the issue of confidentiality and withholding information from court documents must be considered at the outset in all cases. If the applicant does not wish to reveal their address or the address of anyone mentioned in the application form to the respondents then the addresses should not be given and Form C8—Confidential contact details should be completed.

In cases involving honour, families may go to great lengths to ascertain the whereabouts of the applicant. Care needs to be taken to protect confidential addresses, telephone numbers and other details to ensure the safety of the parties, the children, and potentially any foster carers and social workers. Courts must think very carefully about how they store confidential information and who has access to it. Solicitors acting for clients in relation to a forced marriage protection order (FMPO) should consider who has access to their files as well as where proceedings should be issued. The Guide provides guidance in Annex F as to the use of a decoy court: the alternative court where the application will be issued via an agent nominated by the victim's solicitor, the purpose being to conceal the whereabouts of the applicant.

There may be issues regarding withholding disclosure in order to protect the person to be protected or

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