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Must be doing something right


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We at Renaissance are appalled at the witch hunt of Upper Tribunal Judges who have had the audacity to allow a criminal deportation appeal.

As those on the coal face know, winning a criminal deportation appeal is no walk in the park and at first instance demands a great deal of care in preparation and vigour in presentation. The law already requires deportation of foreign nationals who have committed serious offences. For British offenders, following release, there is a public interest in rehabilitation. In contrast for foreign national offenders, the public interest lies in their deportation. The only way of succeeding is by presenting sufficient evidence to demonstrate a really, really strong human rights claim.

These claims emanate from the jigsaw of an individual human story. Some times that story is profound and inspirational. Often we have represented addicts who have turned their lives around and are contributing greatly to society. Many young people, British or not, commit crimes. Many then go on to change their lives and become great human beings. Young people who have come from an environment of utter lawlessness, depravity and atrocious acts of genocide can become messed up. Young men and women can mess up badly and yes, some of the appellants are just plain mean. But the problem with The Daily Mail and Telegraph is a complete failure to recognise that there is a three dimensional individual behind all these cases; and that these stories cannot be understood in a few paragraphs of a newspaper.

The authors of the articles cannot see the human face because they are all wrapped up in the stereotype. And in time we will learn that key facts have been omitted or simply were not correct. But it does not matter because foreign national prisoners or foreign nationals about to be deported are regarded by many as the scum of the earth; so obviously if they are detained unlawfully for years on end or deported it doesn’t really matter. The point is that the real test of the independence and integrity of the judiciary is how they treat those who are indeed regarded as the scum of earth. So if The Daily Mail and Telegraph are targeting such Judges, they must be doing something well and truly right as far as we are concerned.

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11 Responses

  1. Even European citizens are treated like total dirt. Someone who served time for a drug or firearms offence like 10 years ago and did 10 years’ time for what they did will be routinely removed to Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia etc etc even when they have a small child and partner in the UK. It might not be traditionally corrupt here in the UK, i.e. you can’t usually pay the police and UKBA or HMRC etc, but they just don’t care about the law, their own manual and instructions. Immigration judges are worse than the UKBA.

  2. Your concern for the people you write about is quite commendable on a human level. But there is no mention on your website for any consideration for the cases under the family regulations where the respectable NON EU sposues of British free born citizens are being denied UK visas to live a family life under Article 8 of the ECHR / UK Law.
    This goes back to the advise Matrix gave to Liberty UK in Sept 2010 and the subsequent introduction of the Pre Entry English test introduced in Dec 2010.
    These tests, and others, have been found to be such that even British national who have taken them have failed.
    The conclusion being the tests are rigged to fail so that the UKBA / Home Office can deny applicants visas in order to meet the Coalition Govt pledge to keep down net immigration numbers for the 2015 election.
    Its very good you represent your clients but have you no interest in your fellow British citizens who haven’t the means or know how to have their justifiable cases heard in Court! Have you no concern for the freedoms of British nationals to have their rights protected and to lead their family lives?

  3. Dear Mr Ledwith, My blog was responding to a specific issue. The language restrictions, I agree are wrong on so many levels and hopefully the Court of Appeal will so find in the upcoming test case.The blog has addressed this issue on several occasions in a fairly robust manner and in a manner with which I completely agree.

  4. On one hand this ‘speach’ (as versus article) concedes that some appellants in criminal deportation cases are “just plain mean” (which puts its mildly when describing, for example a rapist of a twelve year old child), on the other hand it is says that allowing judges “must be doing something right”, by implication those who dismiss must be doing something wrong. This hoplesley one sided approach mirriors that of the Telegraph and Mail.

    The guidance for contributions to this blog suggest that news, humour and anylsis of new jurisprudence is what the blogs consumers want, this angry rant ticks none of those boxes.

    Members of the Judiciary are public figures, earning very high salaries paid for by the tax payer, in turn they can expect, from time to time, to be the subject of press attention, they are (to put in bluntly) fair game.

    The hallmark of any civilised society is both an independent Judiciary and a free press, even a cynical old (hard working) public servant such as myself thanks God for an independent Judiciary and their ability to rein in the executive from time to time.

    Both the Daily Mail and Telegraph articles are misconceived, naive as to the UK’s obligations under international law and hopelessly biased, however they are entitled to run these stories, our press is free.

    Surely the public discourse would be more enriched (and the public better informed) by leading Immigration Lawyers engaging with the main stream media in moderate language as versus penning hot under the collar rants on niche blogs such as this?


    1. It only does damage to the reputation of the Home Office that you hold yourself out as its spokesman on this blog, but I do not feel I should censor your comments, unfortunately. I do love the way that you defend the right of the Telegraph and Mail to print and publish what they want, no matter how incorrect, but suggest that we are not similarly entitled. Priceless, as ever.

    2. I’m no great fan of some points regarding the UK legal system including that the judiciary are very disproportionally drawn from the ruling classes and elite. The pompous private schools, Oxbridge, the lack of knowledge of life as it is for substantial amounts of the population…

      But judges are not fair game for the media and should not be public figures. Their role is to interpret and apply the law as it is. Which is why Ministers can’t sack judges whose verdicts they don’t like.

      That is a fundametally different situation to that of MPs. MPs are elected to do what the voters want and are therefore accountable to voters.

  5. I previously commented on this subject when it came up before.

    I was also saddened to see the comment by ‘PO’ as it demonstrated a lack of understanding of the issues at stake. If Judges are routinely pilloried for their decisions, it will undermine the Judiciary as a whole.

    While Free Movement quite rightly says that he should not censor PO’s comments, they should nevertheless be censured.

    The naming of individual Judges and their decisions looks to be nothing more than a crude attempt to influence judicial decision making through the application of pressure. Such tactics are more suited to banana republics.

    Our freedoms depend on a Judiciary free of pressure to serve political agenda. Do we really want Judges who sway their decisions according to which way the political or societal wind is blowing? That is a sure way to creating the type of dictatorship where any individual’s rights are determined by whatever some civil servant or politician believes to be expedient.

    The press would be better to focus their attention on the legislators who write the laws that the Judges interpret.

    As a PO myself for a number of years, I was from time to time irritated and frustrated when deportations were allowed, but by and large most of the cases I presented were dismissed and the individual deported.

    The article in question paints a very misleading picture of the issue in general and wholly misrepresents some of the cases specified.

  6. FM, I don’t think it’s a case of you not being entitled to put your views across. Rather it’s the fact that your posts are foten as one sided as that of the Mail or the Telegraph.

    The Mail and Telegraph- as you rightly point out- are the ugly extreme of one end of the spectrum, but I’m afraid some of your posts are often the other extreme. Some balance would not go amiss.

    It is interesting that in the long speech/ post above no mention whatsoever is made of the victims of the crimes that some foreign nationals are guilty of committing. It seems their rights are not as important as the criminals.

  7. Re: the victims of crime – it’s worth noting that there is the “Criminal Justice System” which has already seen to punishing the foreign national / assisting the victim. Because the criminal is foreign, does that make the experience all the more traumatic for the victim? Of course not. So why do they need to get extra punishment?

    “It seems their rights are not as important as the criminals” – Okay then.

  8. In response to ‘Onlyme’

    The issue being debated in these blogs is not about the rights and wrongs of deportation. Many barristers expressed to me over the years of their distaste for their clients.

    The issue is whether we have an independent judiciary and one which is not castigated for every decision that is made.

    It would be no more justifiable if say the Guardian ran a series of articles denouncing decisions by DIJ Woodcraft or SIJ Waumsley.

    The issue is not about the victims of crime, that has usually been dealt with by the criminal justice system. Deportation is not a punishment against the appellant but a policy of deterrence. This argument is about the indiependence of the judiciary to interpret and apply the law set down by Parliament and whether the Daily Mail and the Telegraph should run a campaign against named Judges who by virtue of their office are unable to reply. The articles in question seek to shame individual Judges into changing the way in which they decide the law on such cases.

    If Parliament does not like the interpretation of the law by the courts it has the powewr to draft new legislation or withdraw from treaty obligations. Instead this government, like the previous government, chooses to point the finger of blame at the courts and ignore its own powers to shape the playing field.