Marriage: Age

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 21st July 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Virendra Sharma Virendra Sharma Labour, Ealing, Southall

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of (a) raising the marriage age to 18 and (b) removing parental consent to (i) protect children and (ii) prevent exploitation.

Photo of Virendra Sharma Virendra Sharma Labour, Ealing, Southall

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what discussions he has had for the Minister for Women and Equalities on raising the marriage age to 18 and removing parental consent to protect children and prevent exploitation.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Government continues to listen carefully to the debate on the legal age of marriage. Justice officials liaise closely with officials in other departments that have an interest in this matter and in forced marriage, which Government made an offence in 2014.

Evidence shows that the number of people marrying in England and Wales at 16 or 17 has been in decline over the years. In 2017, the latest year for which statistics are available, 183 of the people entering 235,910 opposite sex marriages did so at those ages. Primary legislation would be needed to raise the marriageable age to 18 and thereby to remove the existing requirement for parental or judicial consent at 16 or 17. Such changes would not in themselves, however, prevent marriages taking place under 18 outside the ambit of the domestic law.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes3 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.