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Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of memoranda of understanding signed with (a) Libya, (b) Algeria and (c) Jordan. (200508)

The UK has Memoranda of Understanding with Libya, Jordan and Lebanon which make provision for the protection of the human rights of, and set out the arrangements for seeking further assurances in respect of, people facing deportation to those countries. We do not have a Memorandum of Understanding with Algeria on this subject. Separate arrangements for seeking assurances in individual cases apply.

In the light of the recent ruling by the Court of Appeal in the case of two Libyan nationals, AS and DD, we have decided to discontinue deportation action in those cases, and in the cases of 10 other Libyan nationals.

We are seeking leave to appeal to the House of Lords against the Court of Appeal's ruling in the case of Abu Qatada, who is a Jordanian national.

Eight people have been deported to Algeria under the arrangements with that country after withdrawing their appeals against the decision to deport them, and I am satisfied with the way these arrangements are operating.

I remain of the view that diplomatic assurances in the context of deportation are a legitimate means of safeguarding the human rights of the individuals concerned, and contribute to the process of assessing whether or not to seek to deport particular individuals to those countries.