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New law raises minimum age of marriage to 18 in England and Wales UK News

People aged 16 or 17 could previously marry with parental consent.

BBC News also reported that the new law also applies to cultural or religious marriages that are not registered with the local council.

Tory MP Pauline Latham, who introduced the bill to parliament, said it would “transform the life chances of many girls”.

Children would not face penalties under the new rule, but adults who facilitate the marriage could face up to seven years in prison and a fine.

Times Series: Adults Who Facilitate Child Marriages Risk Jail Time (Canva)Adults who facilitate child marriages risk jail time (Canva)

This would include adults who took children abroad to celebrate the marriage.

The Bill passed Parliament with little opposition and will receive Royal Assent later in the week, making it a reality.

The new law will not affect the validity of marriages or civil partnerships concluded before the entry into force of the legislation.

It does not apply to Northern Ireland and Scotland, where the minimum age will remain at 16.

In Northern Ireland you still need parental consent to marry at 16, but in Scotland you don’t.

Complications in the new rule

BBC News reported that Mihai Calin Bica of the Roma Support Group said the bill was “a good move to protect our youth”, but the group expressed concern “about how it will be applied in the practice”.

He noted that in Roma communities, the word “married” was often used to explain their children’s boyfriend-girlfriend relationships.

They warned that this could create complications when enforcing the law and urged the government to carry out an educational campaign aimed at raising awareness of the new rules.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-27 07:31:46

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