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New Clause 14 - Deportation on national security grounds: appeals

Part of Crime and Courts Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 12th February 2013.

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 10:45 am, 12th February 2013

I have two questions on the new clause. The Minister touched on the first one. Proposed new subsection (2C) uses the phrase

“real risk of serious irreversible harm”.

The Minister has given one example of that, but I would welcome a clearer definition from him. These matters will be tested in court and it is important that he places a clear definition on record so that that defence does not become a mud pile further downstream when we are trying to deport people who have committed alleged serious terrorist offences.

Secondly, proposed new subsection (2C) states that one of the grounds on which a certificate may be granted is that

“the whole or part of any human rights claim made by the person is clearly unfounded.”

Again, will the Minister indicate what would make a human rights claim clearly unfounded, so that we can have some clarity on the matter should it come before the courts? The people who will be dealt with by the provisions in the new clause are not individuals who will be removed from the country with any great ease. They will use any issue that could help keep them in the United Kingdom. If there is no clarity about what “clearly unfounded” means, I suspect that they may well use the great British judicial system to test that phrase to its nth limit. It would therefore be welcome if the Minister could clear up what the phrase means, so that the deliberations of the Committee can be reflected upon should any such test come before the courts.