Issue 171 – 15 February 2010

Monday 15 February 2010

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The Council of Europe noted that several European governments are forcibly returning to Kosovo persons who have found shelter in their countries. To assess the situation, Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, visits Kosovo from 11 to 13 February. Amongst the returnees are some Roma, who have ended up in the lead-contaminated camps of Češmin Lug and Osterode in northern Mitrovica, where inhabitants have already suffered serious illnesses (press release - 107(2010))

On 11 February the Home Office announced new restrictions on students. The new regulations will ensure that students studying below degree level have a limited ability to work in the UK, and that their dependants cannot work here at all.Home Secretary Alan Johnson also confirmed that the government will implement plans to introduce a points test by 2011 for those who wish to earn British citizenship.The new measures for students include: a good standard of English (equivalent of holding just below a GCSE in a foreign language) will be needed to come to the UK and study to improve English language competency further; a good standard of English (again equivalent of holding just below a GCSE in a foreign language) will need to be demonstrated in order to study any other course below degree level; restricting the lowest-level courses (A levels and equivalent) to only the most trusted institutions; halving the amount of time a student studying below first degree level or on a foundation degree course will be able to work, to just 10 hours during term time; a ban on bringing in dependants for anyone studying a course for less than six months; and a ban on dependants of anyone studying a course lower than foundation or undergraduate degree level from working - they will face removal from the UK if found doing so.


Sedley LJ in the Court of Appeal in Patel v Entry Clearance Officer [2010] EWCA Civ 17 again noted that the "historical wrong" committed by the discriminatory quality of the Special Voucher Scheme against some British Overseas Citizens and others had a potential relevance to claims under ECHR Article 8. For those who come within the protection of art. 8(1), the balance of factors determining proportionality for the purposes of art. 8(2) will be influenced, perhaps decisively, by the fact that, but for a historical wrong, the family would or might have settled here long ago.

Blair J in the Administrative Court in AFP Farahi, Kubrom & Gerayesus (R on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWHC 3674 (Admin) considered section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, concluding that the obligation to provide accommodation for failed asylum seekers who have the misfortune to find themselves destitute required the Secretary of State to act properly and promptly to determine support claims.

In the Case of Raza v Bulgaria (Application no. 31465/08; 11 February 2010) the European Court of Human Rights found unsurprisingly that the complete concealment from the public of the entirety of a judicial decision in expulsion proceedings cannot be warranted, for this failed, by want of publicity of judicial decisions, to ensure scrutiny of the judiciary by the public and so maintain a basic safeguard against arbitrariness. The resulting interference with the right to respect for family life would therefore not be in accordance with a "law" satisfying the requirements of the Convention. They also found that any deprivation of liberty under Article 5 § 1 (f) will be justified only for as long as deportation proceedings are in progress, and where throughout a period of just over 30 months detention a deportation was apparently blocked solely by the lack of a travel document, and where the expelling authorities did not pursue the matter vigorously enter into negotiations with the authorities abroad, with a view to expediting its delivery, detention was not "being taken with a view to deportation".

The same Court in the Case of Zakayev and Safanova v Russia (Application no. 11870/03; 11 February 2010) found the expulsion of a migrant due to his breach of the registration rules for foreign nationals unjustified by the need to prevent crime and preserve the economic well-being of the country, notwithstanding that the first applicant had failed for several months to comply with the Russian legislation concerning the residence of foreign nationals, and nor did he strive to obtain a permanent residence permit or Russian nationality, despite his long-term presence in Russia and his marriage to a Russian citizen. Although such behaviour is open to serious reproach, this case fell to be distinguished from others where the Court considered that the persons concerned could not at any time have reasonably expected to be able to continue family life in the host country.


On Tuesday 23 February from 16:00 to 19 :00 hours, at 1 Liverpool Street, HJT Training hold a course "Home Office Policies & Automatic refusals", the former addressing various Home Office policies relevant to enforcement, and the latter giving the latest insights on mandatory bans.,_Immigration_and_Asylum_law_courses.html#64

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