Clause 28

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 20th March 2007.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Minister of State (Home Office) (Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality) 10:30 am, 20th March 2007

These are highly technical amendments. Their purpose is simple: to ensure that the appeal procedures under clause 31 operate effectively. We want to ensure that three things dovetail neatly together: first, the powers for automatic deportation that we seek; secondly, the non-suspension of appeal regime that we are putting in place, and thirdly, the appeal system that we have sketched out in the Bill.

Government amendments Nos. 111 and 114 are designed to ensure that in-country appeals can be brought only on arguable human rights and asylum grounds. Once we have made a decision automatically to deport an individual and they are still in the country, they usually lodge an appeal with the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. That appeal can contain human rights or asylum claims, but as it is an in-country appeal, it is harder to remove the individual from the country to conduct an appeal that is made on other grounds. Where the claim on human rights or asylum grounds is spurious, we want to be able to certify the claim as unfounded, to stop fraudulent or abusive human rights and asylum claims.

The existing certification powers apply to a claim only before the notice of appeal is lodged with the tribunal. To use the powers that we want to create in the Bill, we need to be able to stop the appeal by temporarily withdrawing the decision automatically to deport, so that we can consider the claim, certify it as unfounded and remake the decision automatically to deport. The effect of that process would be to invalidate any further appeal that is lodged, because the claim has been certified. The appeal would then have to be heard outside the country, if there is still an appeal to be heard. That is simply to ensure that the process of automatic deportation is not hampered by the construction of the law.