Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law
EU Settlement Scheme course now available FREE to members
Justice Secretary hails attack on migrants’ Article 3 and human trafficking rights
Credit: Chris McAndrew / UK Parliament

Justice Secretary hails attack on migrants’ Article 3 and human trafficking rights

The government wants to restrict the ability of migrants to resist removal from the UK by invoking their right not to suffer inhuman or degrading treatment, the Justice Secretary has said. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Robert Buckland “confirmed plans to restrict the use of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights” in immigration and asylum cases.

These plans are “confirmed” rather than “revealed” because the same outlet reported plans for an attack on Article 3 rights last year. The idea is to put the government’s interpretation of what constitutes “torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” into legislation. If this sounds familiar, that’s because the idea is “modelled on restrictions introduced six years ago which reined in Article 8 of the Human Rights Act” (i.e. section 19 of the Immigration Act 2014).

Among other things, Article 3 protects seriously ill migrants who would face intense suffering for lack of medical treatment in the country of removal.

Buckland also suggests that it is too easy for migrants to make a claim to be a victim of human trafficking, saying that the Modern Slavery Act 2015 “might be potentially open to abuse”. He then indulges in the now-familiar denigration of lawyers acting in deportation cases, charging that legal challenges to removal are being “deliberately elongated… by people who keep on inventing new grounds of appeal”. Forthcoming legislation will “strip out unnecessary procedures while preserving the rights of the applicant”.

The Home Office says this legislation will be introduced “in the relatively near future”. 

CJ McKinney

CJ is Free Movement's deputy editor. He's here to make sure that the website is on top of everything that happens in the world of immigration law, whether by writing articles, commissioning them out or considering pitches. When not writing about immigration law, CJ covers wider legal affairs at the website Legal Cheek and on Twitter: follow him @mckinneytweets.

There are comments on this article.

Only members can view and comment on articles, as well as many other benefits.

Explore membership now
Not yet a member?

Get unlimited access to articles, a thriving forum, free e-books, online training materials with downloadable training certificates, and much more.

Need to keep up-to-date on immigration, asylum and nationality law?

Sign up as a member from just £20 plus VAT per month

Join Now

Benefits Include

  • Unlimited access to all blog posts
  • Access to our busy forum
  • Free downloads of all our ebooks
  • Hundreds of hours of training courses