Force & Marriage: The Criminalisation of Forced Marriage in Dutch, English and International Criminal Law


Haenen, Iris. 2014. Force & Marriage: The Criminalisation of Forced Marriage in Dutch, English and International Criminal Law. Cambridge, UK: Intersentia.

Author: Iris Haenen


Forced marriages take place all over the world, both in times of peace and in times of conflict. Media attention and judicial scrutiny have helped place this practice in the legal and political limelight, requiring national governments and the international community alike to develop strategies to deal with this human rights violation. On the level of national law, several countries have introduced a specific offense of forced marriage in their criminal laws. On the level of international law, courts and tribunals have deliberated on how to legally classify this practice and are faced with the question of whether or not forced marriage should be seen as a 'new' crime against humanity. This book provides a comparative perspective on the criminalization of forced marriage, focusing on the question of whether - and, if so, how - the practice of forced marriage should be criminalized under both Dutch and international law. After offering a thorough description of the phenomenon of forced marriage in and outside of conflict situations, a synthesized doctrinal foundation for criminalization on the national and international level is presented. Next, the book delves into international case law and criminal law concerning the act of forced marriage. It goes on to provide a comprehensive overview of and comparison between Dutch and English criminal law and civil law. It then discusses whether forced marriage should be criminalized in Dutch law and whether it should be added to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as a distinct crime against humanity, war crime, or act of genocide.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Genocide, International Law, International Criminal Law, Justice, Crimes against Humanity, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2014

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at