Joint Committee On Human Rights Minutes of Evidence


7. Supplementary Letter from the Rt Hon Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC, Minister of State, Home Office

THE CASE FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT, EVIDENCE SESSION ON MONDAY 30 OCTOBER 2006

  Thank you for your letter of 31 October and for allowing us the opportunity to check the accuracy of the transcript from the above hearing. I attach a track changed version with some minor corrections on matters of fact which I hope you will be able to incorporate.

  The Committee also asked for supplementary information on the following points.

    —  Any further consideration of whether it would be possible for the Home Office to publish in full its review of decision making in the criminal justice, immigration and asylum systems (questions 25-29 refer);

    —  Details of cases where, according to the Home Secretary, IND's robust approach to deportation of EEA nationals has been defeated consistently in the courts (question 95 refers); and

    —  Whether the Home Office will publish a list of cases where deportations of foreign criminals at the conclusion of their sentences have been suggested and carried out, or where they have been suggested and not carried out, with reasons (question 100 refers).

  I will deal with each of these in turn.

PUBLICATION OF THE HOME OFFICE REVIEW

  I have carefully considered your request for the Home Office to publish its full review of decision making in the criminal justice, immigration and asylum systems. As I explained at the hearing, the review was an internal one. The conclusions and recommendations were published as part of the CJS rebalancing review in the summer and this, along with the Lord Chancellor's review, encapsulates the findings we have made and properly represents the Government's position.

  I provided a summary of the review to the Committee as part of the written evidence and I am happy for this summary to be made publicly available as part of the evidence from your inquiry.

DEPORTATION OF EEA NATIONALS CASES IN THE COURTS

  My officials in IND are currently undertaking an exercise to scope out this information by examining the cases brought before the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) between April and October 2006. We will write to you by the end of November once a more comprehensive analysis of these cases is available. Our policy is not to disclose details of individual cases, but we will be able to provide, with case details anonymised, overall figures for appeal outcomes, the nationalities involved and an analysis of the reasons why the appeals of some EEA nationals were allowed.

PUBLISH A LIST OF DEPORTATION CASES

  It is not our practise to provide case by case breakdowns. The IND Director General, Lin Homer, wrote to the Home Affairs Committee on 9 October and provided the latest and most accurate figures the Department has on deportation of FNPs. I attach a copy of her letter. Since April 2006 approximately 3,800 new FNPs have been referred for deportation consideration and action is now being pursued against around 1,750 individuals. From May 2006, our records also show that in total over 1,000 FNPs have been removed or deported from the UK.

  The Immigration and Nationality Directorate is currently putting in place new processes to improve its data collection systems for the future in this area and, as we overhaul, we will consider publication accordingly of information providing it is sufficiently accurate and robust to the standards which Parliament and the public expect.

  Finally, at the hearing I offered to look for additional information in relation to the number of people with mental health problems remaining in prison. I have asked my officials to investigate whether it is possible to provide such information.

6 November 2006





 
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