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Deportation Appeals System

Volume 571: debated on Monday 2 December 2013

We are making changes in the Immigration Bill to reduce the number of appeal rights and to ensure that those convicted of criminal offences will, in most cases, be able to be deported first and their appeal to take place from overseas.

I am grateful to the Minister for tightening up the previous Government’s deportation regulations so that the scandalous waste of time it took to deport Hamza and Qatada can never happen again. Can he confirm that the proposals he has tabled are unlikely to be struck down by the European Court of Human Rights? If they might be, is he prepared to take action against the European convention on human rights first?

We have looked very carefully at this, and we are confident that the measures in the Immigration Bill, including the changes that clause 14 makes to put article 8 on a proper statutory basis, are robust. The Home Secretary has made it clear that at the election we will have to deal with the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the convention. Indeed, that has been reinforced by comments from Lord Sumption, who pointed out that the Court is now engaged in judicial law-making, which is in constitutional terms remarkable, taking many contentious issues that should be questions for political debate and turning them into questions of law to be resolved by a tribunal. I could not agree with him more.