"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Setting a Poor Precedent

Three appeal court judges have ruled that two Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka have the right to stay in Britain because they threatened to kill themselves if they were deported. The judges stated that sending them home would breach their right to life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said the ruling 'defied common sense' (and coming from a New Labour minister, that probably has some weight) - but it does set some rather unfortunate legal precedents.

It probably means that anyone who threatens suicide can escape deportation in future, but it also means that the onus is now on the candidate for deportation to have the final say on how much danger they are in back home - not a government assessment of the regime and circumstances.

The latter wasn't perfect, but what person fighting deportation is simply going to say 'actually, I'm in no danger at all back in the old country'?

If the government can't prove otherwise (and it rarely can), they're here to stay.

1 comment:

Dr.D said...

The government has been blackmailed, and made a precedent of it. It brings to mind the idea of threatening suicide to avoid a death sentence.

The underlying presumption seems to be, we dare not do anything that makes people responsible for their own actions. What a recipe for disaster!