May: Judges to be given new deportation guidance

Judges’ powers to block the deportation of foreign criminals on human rights grounds must be curbed, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.

She told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show that the government will seek the backing of Parliament for new guidelines for the courts spelling out how the courts should apply the European Convention on Human Rights in such cases.

Ms. May emphasised that the right to a family life enshrined in Article 8 of the convention is not sacrosanct and can be overridden to prevent crime, protect national security and safeguard the rights of others.

Right to a family life “is not an absolute right. So in the interests of the economy or of controlling migration or of public order – those sort of issues – the state has a right to qualify this right to a family life,” Ms. May said.

“What I am going to do is actually set out the rules that say this is what Parliament, this is what the public believe is how you balance the public interest against the individual's interest.”

Ms. May said they’ll ask Parliament to vote and clarify what constitutes the right to a family life.

“I would expect that judges will look at what Parliament will say and that they will take into account what Parliament has said. If they don't then we will have to look at other measures and that could include primary legislation,” Ms. May said.

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