“Male circumcision does involve harm” rules President of the Family Courts


In a ruling made on 14 January 2015 the President of the Family Law Division has ruled:

Mr Hayes points to the recognition, both by Wall J, as he then was, and by the Court of Appeal in Re J (Specific Issue Orders: Muslim Upbringing and Circumcision) [1999] 2 FLR 678, 693, on appeal Re J (Specific Issue Orders: Child’s Religious Upbringing and Circumcision) [2000] 1 FLR 571, 573, 576, that male circumcision does involve harm, or the risk of harm. Given the comparison between what is involved in male circumcision and FGM WHO Type IV, to dispute that the more invasive procedure involves the significant harm involved in the less invasive procedure would seem almost irrational. In my judgment, if FGM Type IV amounts to significant harm, as in my judgment it does, then the same must be so of male circumcision.
Given the announcement this week that ‘Government to introduce mandatory reporting of FGM’
one wonders just how difficult it would be to include MGM in the proposed amendments to the Serious Crime bill.

The Home Office will now introduce a new mandatory reporting duty through amendments to the Serious Crime Bill. The proposed duty will:

  • Apply in cases of ‘known’ FGM (i.e. instances which are disclosed by the victim and/or are visually confirmed).
  • Be limited to victims under 18.
  • Apply to all regulated healthcare and social care professionals, and teachers.
  • Require reports to be made to the police within one month of initial disclosure/identification.

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