Judges who use human rights laws to block deportations of failed asylum seekers and foreign criminals will be told what counts as ‘inhuman or degrading treatment.’
Home Secretary Priti Patel is considering the move to try to restrict the ability of judges to make ‘subjective’ decisions about what form of conditions deportees would face in countries they are deported to.
Under the plans, the Government’s Fair Borders Bill would define ‘inhuman’ or ‘degrading’ in cases where criminals or failed asylum seekers said they would suffer from such treatment if they were reported.
The move, reported by The Sunday Telegraph, comes after Ms Patel promised the victim of gang rapist Yaqub Ahmed that deporting her attacker is a ‘top priority.’
Ahmed’s deportation to his native Somalia was dramatically halted two years ago when airline passengers mutinied.
Judges who use human rights laws to block deportations of failed asylum seekers and foreign criminals will be told what counts as ‘inhuman or degrading treatment.’ Pictured: Home Secretary Priti Patel
The move, reported by The Sunday Telegraph, comes after Ms Patel promised the victim of gang rapist Yaqub Ahmed that deporting her attacker is a ‘top priority’. Pictured: Ahmed’s deportation to his native Somalia was dramatically halted two years ago when airline passengers mutinied
Article Three of the European Convention on Human Rights states: ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.’
Judges in both UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights have tended to interpret inhuman or degrading treatment depending on the circumstances in each case.
A Whitehall source told The Telegraph that ministers want to remove ‘ambiguity’ around the application of Article Three rights and to ‘reduce the scope for judges to answer philosophical questions.’
The Fair Borders Bill would overhaul the current asylum system to introduce a legal clarification of Article Three.
Government figures believe it is being abused by would-be deportees attempting to stay in Britain.
Since his failed deportation, Ahmed’s lawyers have continued to frustrate attempts to remove him from Britain.
He was convicted with three other men and jailed for nine years for gang raping a 16-year-old girl in 2007.
But his lawyers used human rights law to block his removal, citing the state of his mental health and the alleged risk to his safety back in Somalia.
In June, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by The Mail on Sunday showed the number of deportation orders served dropped by nearly 2,000 – from 5,218 in 2015 to 3,225 last year.
In 2014, David Cameron’s Immigration Act introduced curbs on the use of Article Eight, the right to family life.
The legislation required judges to weigh up the ‘British public interest’ against Article Eight rights.
If they are brought into force, Ms Patel’s changes could put the UK on a collision course with international law.
In August, the deportation of 23 failed asylum seekers was halted by last-minute legal action by human rights lawyers.
Yuqub Ahmed ended up staying in Britain when, unaware of his crime, passengers on a Turkish Airlines flight demanded security guards remove him after he began screaming.
The Mail on Sunday revealed that the cost of detaining Ahmed since the October 2018 failure is likely to be £71,000, equivalent to £100 a day.
In addition, more than £50,000 of taxpayer-funded legal aid has been paid to law firms which have represented him since 2007.
Ahmed, a Somalian rapist, had his deportation blocked by lawyers in 2018
The Somalian’s victim, who has struggled to cope with post traumatic stress disorder brought on by her ordeal, spoke out last year and pleaded with the Home Office to deport him.
The woman was last week invited to meet Ms Patel.
‘[The Home Secretary] is very adamant that she wants rid of him and is just shocked at how it’s played out,’ said the woman, now 29, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
‘She just wanted to meet me so she could tell me herself that this is a top priority of hers and to make sure this doesn’t continue to happen. She said that, fundamentally, the system is broken now and needs changing.’
Ahmed was released on bail in March last year, but detained once again soon after because he ripped off an electronic tag and tried to leave the country.
The Home Office declined to comment on Ms Patel’s meeting with the victim. A spokesman said: ‘We would not comment on an individual case.
‘It isn’t right that victims suffer twice – once at the hands of violent criminals and again when the broken system prevents justice from being done.’
Hate preacher Abu Qatada was finally deported in 2013 after a decade-long legal battle which cost taxpayers more than £1million in benefits and prison and legal fees.