Theresa May should focus on principle, rather than posturing

Responding to the announcement made to parliament today by the Home Secretary Theresa May, announcing that judges will be given guidance on the interpretation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights when considering cases involving the deportation of foreign nationals, Tara Lyle, Policy Adviser at Amnesty International UK, said:

“The much demonised right to a family life protected by Article 8 of the European Convention is not an absolute right and never has been, as Theresa May has herself acknowledged. Indeed, there is already a presumption in favour of deportation for a foreign national prisoner facing a sentence of over a year. But the rights of Children's rights and families must also be taken into consideration.

“Today’s announcement that there will be a parliamentary motion to reaffirm the current legal situation pays lip service to a misconceived idea that human rights are a blunt, immovable tool when, in fact subtlety in the law already exists.

“In deportation cases involving ‘family rights’ there are many aspects of an individual’s situation that a court must already carefully weigh up, including the seriousness of the crime and the best interests of any Children's rights.

“It is high time that the sophistication of the law was mirrored in discussions on human rights by the Home Secretary, based on facts rather than pursuing populist headlines.”

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