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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Immigration Minister Damian Green shoots himself in the foot!

Immigration Minister Damian Green shoots himself in the foot!

"[W]e have seen in recent years a number of high-profile court cases in which people have been allowed to stay here by asserting rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Many of these rights, at least in the form they have been given expression through the case law,  are not recognised as such by the bulk of the population.  That  leads to the ridiculous and damaging situation where the whole concept of Human Rights is called into question. This is not healthy for anyone. It is also dangerous for there to be a long-term stand-off between Parliament and the judges, which is why we want to give better Parliamentary guidance on what should be considered in these kind of cases in future.

I do want to do what I can to avoid any obvious mismatch between immigration rules on the one hand, and the interpretation of human rights legislation on the other.   When we bring forward the new rules on Family migration which I referred to earlier, they will set out to Parliament the Government’s view on how the balance between individual rights and the public interest should be struck.  That means the Rules will reflect how the conditions we set for entry and the right to remain are in our view proportionate and therefore consistent with Article 8 entitlements.  This means the Rules will mean what they say and we, applicants and the public will be clear about who is entitled to be here, on what conditions and why

The UK signed up to the ECHR, and this includes accepting that the ECtHR interprets the ECHR.

Parliament passed the HRA 1998. It is for the courts to interpret statutes.

It beggars belief that Damian Green appears to be suggesting that an ignorant public's interpretation should prevail over the judgments of our courts. He calls into question the whole concept of human rights, whilst recognising this is both ridiculous and damaging.

It is not the role of Parliament to give the Judiciary guidance how to interpret statutes. This interferes with the independence of the Judiciary.

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