Down the Aisle of Criminalization: The Practice of Forced Marriage

I.E.M.M. Haenen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Awareness of the practice of forced marriage — which refers to a marriage that at least one of the spouses entered into against their will, as a result of some form of coercion exercised by another person — is growing in Europe. Forced marriage is a daily reality in all European countries and has severe consequences for victims. Taking the 2011 Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence as a starting point, this article aims to answer the question of whether the phenomenon of forced marriage ought to be separately criminalized in The Netherlands and England in light of the principle of internal subsidiarity. Comparing Dutch and English legislation concerning the practice of forced marriage, this article demonstrates the various intricacies of Dutch and English criminal law and then proceeds to argue that there are lacunae in the penal laws of both countries that require legislative action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-120
JournalEuropean Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • criminal law
  • criminalisation
  • forced marriage
  • subsidiarity
  • violence against women


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