The Immigration Act 2014 requires judges to take into account certain public interest considerations when deciding immigration cases. Little weight is to be attached to x, the politicians tell the judges through the medium of the legislation, and in y situation there is no public interest in removal. More specifically, judges are instructed that there is less public interest in removing wealthy English speakers than poor Urdu speakers.
Human rights pervade modern law and have a profound impact in crime, family, mental health, environmental and many other areas of law. It is only in immigration law that politicians have sought directly to influence the thinking of judges, though. There is no primary legislation telling judges to sentence more leniently where a convicted criminal speaks English or has lots of money, for example, or telling judges that fathers with certain characteristics have stronger rights to see their children than other sorts of fathers.
Late last month the primary legislation concerned came into full effect. How does it work, and will it achieve its purported objectives? This is a detailed blog post examining the provisions and it is accompanied by an audio extract from a seminar last night at Garden Court Chambers at which I spoke on this subject (if you listen to podcasts on your mobile phone, you can subscribe for free via iTunes here, Stitcher here or point your podcast player to podcast feed for Free Movement). Other extracts from the seminar by Bijan Hoshi, Sadat Sayeed and Mark Symes will follow in upcoming blog posts.
Podcast: Play in new window