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'20 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (c. )'.

No. 26, in page 28, line 31, leave out Clause 52.

No. 37, in page 28, line 32 [Clause 52], leave out subsection (1).

No. 1, in page 28, line 35 [Clause 52], leave out 'satisfied' and insert 'sure'.

No. 38, in page 28, line 37 [Clause 52], leave out 'that Act' and insert



'the British Nationality Act 1981 (c. 61).'

No. 39, in page 29, line 4 [Clause 53], leave out subsection (1).

No. 2, in page 29, line 8 [Clause 53], leave out 'thinks' and insert 'is sure'.

No. 40, in page 29, line 8 [Clause 53], leave out from 'State' to end of line 10 and insert



'is satisfied that the person had done anything seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of—



(a)   the United Kingdom, or



(b)   a British Overseas Territory.'.

No. 41, in page 29, line 23 [Clause 53], leave out 'not'.


 
16 Nov 2005 : Column 1051
 

No. 42, in page 29, line 25 [Clause 53], leave out from 'person' to end of line and insert



'had done anything seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of—



(a)   the United Kingdom, or



(b)   a British Overseas Territory.'.

Mr. Carmichael: I should tell the House that, barring anything earth-shatteringly revealing being said by the Minister on these amendments, it is my intention to divide the House on amendment No. 34 and, with your leave, Madam Deputy Speaker, on amendment No. 37.

Unfortunately, time is short, and I know that other hon. Members wish to speak. I am keen to hear the words of honeyed sweet reason that I know will drip from the Minister if he is given the opportunity. So, if I may seek the indulgence of the House, I shall assume a greater degree of prior knowledge of the provisions of article 1(F)(c) of the 1951 Refugee Convention than had originally been my intention.

I have chosen to focus on amendment No. 34 because it seeks the removal of clause 51. The other amendments relating to that clause seek to achieve much the same end, but by taking rather more circuitous routes. I suggest that amendment No. 34 is by some significant measure the most straightforward and, if I may venture to say so, elegant way of dealing with this issue.

I cannot think of another example in which the discretion of the courts in construing articles in a convention has been fettered in the way set out in clause 51. The clause purports to define article 1(F)(c) of the convention, which concerns exceptions based on

I do not understand why the clause is necessary, and that view is shared by the Immigration Law Practitioners Association.

In a briefing to me, the ILPA pointed out that the 1951 convention is an international convention in respect of which the international jurisprudence and UNHCR statements are relevant. The ILPA put it to me:

As ever, the Government seek to go much further than is necessary. The definition they want to import is much wider than is either necessary or desirable. I draw the attention of the House to clause 51(1)(b), which speaks of

A person may thereby be excluded from recognition as a refugee for acts that are not recognised in this country as crimes.

The UNHCR handbook, which is part of the jurisprudence to be applied in construing this measure, says that article 1F(c)


 
16 Nov 2005 : Column 1052
 

That refers to article 1F(a) and (b). The handbook continues:

It is apparent from that, surely, that the definition employed by the UNHCR handbook is already very wide. The only limitation that seems to be in place is that the act complained of should constitute a crime. However, even beyond that exceptionally wide definition the Government seek to go.

That, again, is the view of the ILPA. The Minister might say, "They would say that, wouldn't they?" He might also say that if the Liberal Democrats are agreeing with the ILPA, that is equally unsurprising, but I must bring it to the attention of the House that that is the view not only of the ILPA and the Liberal Democrats, but of the UNHCR. If the House will indulge me for a few minutes, I would like to refer to a few of the objections that the UNHCR has brought to our attention.

First, the UNHCR makes the point that clause 51 interprets article 1F(c)

Secondly, the UNHCR says that the clause

The UNHCR essentially makes the same points as the ILPA, as well as further statements, and the UNHCR briefing says that

The briefing then says that

5.45 pm

I am grateful to the House for its indulgence in allowing me to read that out, which is not my normal practice. It is important, however, to get the point across. If the Minister is not minded to listen to us, to which I have become accustomed over recent months, or
 
16 Nov 2005 : Column 1053
 
even to the ILPA, surely such clear and unambiguous condemnation from the UNHCR should give the Government pause for thought.

Clauses 52 and 53, which concern the deprivation of citizenship and right of abode, would, as drafted, introduce a ground that continued enjoyment of citizenship or right of abode was not conducive to the public good. That, of course, is the test applied in relation to deportation or exclusion—


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