Those bloody courts again!

Judges block Home Secretary from deporting convicted terrorist
A convicted terrorist banned from Britain for being a risk to national security has been stopped by the courts from being deported.

And yes, so the courts should.

There\’s two entirely different points here.

The challenge hinged on interpretation of the Immigration Act 1971 and other immigration legislation. The court hearing included a debate about the meaning of the word “while” in the phrase “while he is in the United Kingdom” from the 2002 Nationality, Asylum and Immigration Act.

Patrick Mercer, a Conservative MP and security expert, said: “This is particularly worrying in view of the Home Secretary’s efforts to exclude this man. The immigration Acts have been exploited and this loophole needs to be closed.”

The first is that the politicians have not managed to pass laws which are entirely clear in their application. That\’s the politicians\’ fault of course, not the judges. And it isn\’t just this slightly trivial point of the law. There\’s a tension between the laws passed against terrorists and the laws passed proteting human rights. Indeed, given the waves of laws we\’ve had on both the law is at times directly contradictory.

Whether or not you think the Human Rights Act (no, Council of Europe, not EU) is a good idea or not it does make a difference to all sorts of other laws that we\’ve got or have passed recently. That\’s the point of it in fact. Very similar to all this stuff about privacy injunctions: the politicians can\’t whine about the judges working through the implications of these new laws that the politicians themselves have decided to impose.

The second point is much more important in this particular case:

Lord Justice Pill, Lord Justice Rix and Lord Justice Lloyd backed the terrorist\’s right to be in Britain while he mounts an appeal. Lord Justice Pill commented that denying him access to Britain could lead to \”potential injustice\”.

His case is that if he\’s sent to Tunisia then he\’ll be killed/injured/tortured/have his human rights violated.

He may be a scumbag terrorist. Might be a killer, might not be, who knows? But it\’s hardly the mark of a lenient justice system that we work out whether he can or should be sent to Tunisia to be killed/injured/tortured/have his human rights violated before we actually send him to Tunisia to be killed/injured/tortured/have his human rights violated.

What\’s the point of allowing him to appeal after he\’s been sent to Tunisia and been killed/injured/tortured/had his human rights violated?

Of course he should be allowed to stay in the UK while his appeal is heard.

Really, what are people making a fuss about?

At the extreme, the argument that we ought to \’oick \’im out straightaway is that those sentenced to capital punishment get their appeals heard after the execution of the sentence.

That\’s not quite what we\’d like in the land that invented liberty, is it?

4 comments on “Those bloody courts again!

  1. Is the government trying to deport him? Or extradite him to face specific charges in Tunisia? If the latter, then the objective is his return to Tunisia, where as you say they may not be particularly nice to him. If it is the former, the objective is simply that he does not stay here. It’s up to him to find some other country to go to if he doesn’t want to go back home.

  2. “He may be a scumbag terrorist. Might be a killer, might not be, who knows?”

    Sorry but we do know. He is a *convicted* terrorist. Not accused. Convicted. He is very much a scumbag terrorist and presumably a killer. If only by intent and supporting deed.

    “But it’s hardly the mark of a lenient justice system that we work out whether he can or should be sent to Tunisia to be killed/injured/tortured/have his human rights violated before we actually send him to Tunisia to be killed/injured/tortured/have his human rights violated.”

    I disagree. Except he is not in Tunisia. He is in Italy. Why do we have an obligation to take him back from Italy? He will not be tortured there. We owe no obligation to this man. We don’t even have a real obligation not to send him back to a country where he may be killed or tortured or whatever. He hates us and it is absurd that we protect him. The protections of British law are for British subjects and those who are currently under the protection of Britain as residents here. He is not.

    Yet again judges are inventing the law to make Britain less safe.

    Tim adds: He’s not in Italy. He’s in the UK.

  3. Well, one answer to this might be, maybe judiciaries are a bad idea.

    If there’s a point of law to be settled, should it not logically be sent back to the people who make the laws for clarification? If I were a member of the Worstall Appreciation Society, and it had various rules made by Worstall, if there seemed to be a contradiction or confusion in the rules, I would ask Worstall what they are supposed to mean. I wouldn’t hire somebody else to try and guess what Worstall meant, would I? That would make no sense.

    If laws need clarifying, send them back to Parliament for clarification. That’s where they came from.

  4. You are right Tim, the laws do stay he should be allowed to stay so he should.
    However the law should be changed.
    Ideally the law should say that fascists should not get asylum here.

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