Section 121 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 came into force on 16 June 2014, making forced marriage a criminal offence. In relation to individuals who lack capacity to marry, the criminal offence is committed by ‘any conduct carried out for the purpose of causing the victim to enter into a marriage (whether or not the conduct amounts to violence, threats, or any other form of coercion)’. See in this regard also the earlier judgment of Parker J in XCC v AA & Ors [2012] EWHC 2183 (COP) and the guidance there as to the obligations and health and social care professionals:

“[184] … in my view it is the duty of a doctor or other health or social work professional who becomes aware that an incapacitated person may undergo a marriage abroad, to notify the learning disabilities team of Social Services and/or the Forced Marriage Unit if information comes to light that there are plans for an overseas marriage of a patient who has or may lack capacity. The communities where this is likely to happen also need to be told, loud and clear, that if a person, whether male or female, enters into a marriage when they do not have the capacity to understand what marriage is, its nature and duties, or its consequences, or to understand sexual relations, that that marriage may not be recognised, that sexual relations will constitute a criminal offence, and that the courts have the power to intervene