Letter from the Immigration Law Practitioners'
In response to your letter of 2 April and the
latest draft of the Convention enclosed therein, I write with
our submissions on the draft Convention and apologise for the
delay in forwarding these to you.
In addition to the points which we have raised
in the paper we would urge the Committee to investigate with the
Minister the means which the UK government proposes to adopt in
order to ensure that individuals have the means to enforce the
Convention's rights in UK law. The issue is particularly apposite
because the Convention seeks to advance the Dublin Convention
(on the Determination of the EU State Responsible for examination
of asylum claims). However, the Court of Appeal has recently held
that as a matter of domestic law the Dublin Convention creates
no rights or obligations and there is no legitimate expectation
that the government will abide by its terms.
I also note that in Joyce Quin's letter of 18
March 1998 to the Committee, the Minister says that the UK would
wish the Convention to include an optional provision for preliminary
rulings from the European Court of Justice. I find it puzzling
to consider how such voluntary jurisdiction could be compatible
with a harmonious development of European law. That apart, your
committee could perhaps find out from the Minister whether, if
such a provison were included, the UK would opt to give our courts
and tribunals the power to seek preliminary rulings from the ECJ.
8 May 1998