Theresa May loses legal fight to deter forced marriage


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Banning foreign spouses aged between 18 and 21 from entering the UK is not a lawful way of dealing with the problem of forced marriages, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

It rejected an appeal by Home Secretary Theresa May against a Court of Appeal decision which outlawed the ban as "arbitrary and disruptive".

Habib Rahman, of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants welcomed the ruling, saying the law infringed "the rights of UK citizens to live in the UK with their partners".

But Immigration minister Damian Green said: "We believe this decision will put vulnerable people at risk."

Lord Brown, one of the Supreme Court Justices, disagreed with the ruling and told colleagues it was "unwise" to frustrate Parliament's intentions by outlawing rules intended to deter forced marriages.

Lord Brown added it was wrong on this occasion for Article Eight of the Human Rights Convention to be used to thwart the will of Parliament.