Protective Orders such as Non Molestation Orders, Protection from Harassment Act Restraining orders or Forced Marriage Protection Orders are easily obtained in England and Wales and there are straight forward procedures governing what happens when these Orders are broken. Things become more complicated however if the Orders are broken outside the jurisdiction of England and Wales. With the advent of employment often taking us to different countries and world-wide social media this has become an increasingly common problem. However this is about to change as a new European Regulation known as “The Protection Measures Regulation 2015” came into force on the 11 January 2015 to allow enforcement of Protective Orders within other jurisdictions of the European Union (except Denmark). The Protective Measures Regulation in conjunction with the European Protection Order should allow for enforcement of both civil and criminal protection Orders across EU borders.
The procedure for enforcement and sentencing will be a matter for each member state and will follow the particular law within that country. The Regulation applies to all protective Orders made on or after the 11 January 2015 and introduces a proforma certificate in order to allow the victim to enforce the Order in another country and provides for the provision of legal aid in other Countries to allow for this.
Let’s hope that the new Regulation is widely publicised within the criminal and civil Justice Agencies throughout the European Union to allow for fast and efficient enforcement of Protective Orders in the future as the law needs to reflect the realities of our of modern lives and afford protection from violence and abuse across jurisdictions.