Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Grayling urges rights law changes

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said human rights laws need to change to make it easier to deport foreign criminals
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said human rights laws need to change to make it easier to deport foreign criminals

Human rights laws need to change to make it easier to deport foreign criminals, the Justice Secretary has said in the latest attack on the system by Conservative ministers.

Chris Grayling said attempts to deport prisoners "very often" ran into problems because of the Human Rights Act.

The Government has set out a series of measures to make it harder to challenge deportation proceedings, but Mr Grayling said there was a "lot more work to do".

Mr Grayling told The Daily Telegraph: "If anybody said to me I think we need to deport more foreign prisoners and foreign offenders, I would agree wholeheartedly.

"Very often attempts to deport ( foreign prisoners) run into problems with the Human Rights Act, which is another reason why human r ights laws need to change.

"But there's a lot more work to do. We're working hard on prisoner transfer agreements with other countries, we're working hard to speed up the process. I'd love to say it was easy (but) it isn't.

"We will do everything we can to improve the situation."

The newspaper reported that of the 70,000 foreigners arrested by the Metropolitan Police just 1% were ultimately deported.

Under the Government's Immigration Bill, the number of grounds on which migrants can lodge an appeal against deportation are to be slashed from the current 17 to just four in a move drawn up in response to the 12 years it took to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada.

It will also aim to curb the number of migrants who block deportation using Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights - the right to a private or family life.

At the Tory party conference Home Secretary Theresa May announced that foreign criminals will be deported from Britain before their appeals against leaving the country are heard.

Mrs May said she was sending a "very clear message" to judges who "choose to ignore Parliament and go on putting the law on the side of foreign criminals instead of the public".

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