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Rehabilitation an “important factor” in deportation cases

Rehabilitation an “important factor” in deportation cases

The Court of Appeal has found that rehabilitation could be an important factor in some deportation cases. The case is Danso v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 596:

Mr. Dixon submitted that the tribunal should have placed much greater weight on the appellant’s rehabilitation and the fact that he did not pose a significant risk of re-offending. He suggested that far too little importance is attached to factors of that kind, with the result that those who commit offences have little incentive to co-operate with the authorities and make a positive effort to change their ways. I have some sympathy with that argument and I should not wish to diminish the importance of rehabilitation. It may be that in a few cases it will amount to an important factor, but the fact is that there is nothing unusual about the appellant’s case. Most sex offenders who are sentenced to substantial terms of imprisonment are offered courses designed to help them avoid re-offending in future and in many cases the risk of doing so is reduced. It must be borne in mind, however, that the protection of the public from harm by way of future offending is only one of the factors that makes it conducive to the public good to deport criminals. Other factors include the need to mark the public’s revulsion at the offender’s conduct and the need to deter others from acting in a similar way. Fortunately, rehabilitation of the kind exhibited by the appellant in this case is not uncommon and cannot in my view contribute greatly to the existence of the very compelling circumstances required to outweigh the public interest in deportation.

Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder and editor of the Free Movement immigration law website.

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