As those on the coal face know, winning a criminal deportation appeal is no walk in the park and at first instance demands a great deal of care in preparation and vigour in presentation. The law already requires deportation of foreign nationals who have committed serious offences. For British offenders, following release, there is a public interest in rehabilitation. In contrast for foreign national offenders, the public interest lies in their deportation. The only way of succeeding is by presenting sufficient evidence to demonstrate a really, really strong human rights claim.
These claims emanate from the jigsaw of an individual human story. Some times that story is profound and inspirational. Often we have represented addicts who have turned their lives around and are contributing greatly to society. Many young people, British or not, commit crimes. Many then go on to change their lives and become great human beings. Young people who have come from an environment of utter lawlessness, depravity and atrocious acts of genocide can become messed up. Young men and women can mess up badly and yes, some of the appellants are just plain mean. But the problem with The Daily Mail and Telegraph is a complete failure to recognise that there is a three dimensional individual behind all these cases; and that these stories cannot be understood in a few paragraphs of a newspaper.
The authors of the articles cannot see the human face because they are all wrapped up in the stereotype. And in time we will learn that key facts have been omitted or simply were not correct. But it does not matter because foreign national prisoners or foreign nationals about to be deported are regarded by many as the scum of the earth; so obviously if they are detained unlawfully for years on end or deported it doesn’t really matter. The point is that the real test of the independence and integrity of the judiciary is how they treat those who are indeed regarded as the scum of earth. So if The Daily Mail and Telegraph are targeting such Judges, they must be doing something well and truly right as far as we are concerned.