Immigration Bill will endanger judicial independence, warns Law Society
The Law Society of Scotland has today, 11 February, warned that new immigration measures will limit judicial discretion and human rights in the UK and may be incompatible with European human rights law.
The Immigration Bill, which received its second reading in the House of Lords last night, will remove judicial discretion in cases which engage article 8 of the European convention, namely the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence. The Bill proposes that "little weight should be given" to a private life or relationship when a person's immigration status is "precarious".
The Joint Committee on the Immigration Bill have previously called the proposals "a significant trespass" into judicial functions.
Michael Clancy, Director of Law Reform at the Law Society of Scotland, said: "We do not agree with proposals to take away from judges the ability to make just decisions in immigration cases which involve the right to respect for private and family life.
"These proposals will limit judicial independence and threaten human rights application."
ENDS 11 FEBRUARY 2014
Notes to editors
The Immigration Bill can be viewed here
The Law Society of Scotland's written evidence and briefing to Peers can be viewed here
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Journalists can contact Julia Brown on 0131 476 8204 or Suzy Powell on 0131 226 8884. For the out of hours service please call 0131 226 7411
11 February 2014