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Lord Wallace of Saltaire: My Lords, I thank the Minister for giving way. Does she accept that top quality universities in this country have a lengthy application process; they check qualifications and often have staff in the countries from which the students are drawn. My own institution has a full-time permanent representative in Beijing, for example—thus there is a careful process before an application is made. So there is room for a degree of closer co-operation between universities application offices and the application process for visas. I hope that we may explore that further.

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: My Lords, I would be delighted to explore that further. The noble Lord is absolutely right. When we get the institutions and the students collaborating more we will get better results in all sorts of ways. That is important. Students can reapply at the end of the process. It is not a case of, "That's it; they can never reapply"—they can. But we are also looking for an administrative review—although I am not sure what I should call that. Regarding the forceful points made by noble Lords about administrative errors, such as a university not existing or the wrong name being provided, something within that process will enable such cases to be reviewed quickly without the need for appeal. I hope that that will go some way towards dealing with much of the anecdotal evidence I have received. We want a combination of good decision-making, objective ways of approaching cases and stronger links with universities, students and other institutions, because noble Lords will accept that while this does not apply to universities as much, where good processes are already in place, we need to look more at the grey area of institutions where people apply for courses that we are not sure exist. But there is much that we can do for the students that the noble Lord, Lord Wallace, was concerned with. An administrative "review" combined with the fact that students can reapply will mean that we can get where we need to be without having to do everything that the noble Lord might think was necessary.

We are repealing the previous legislation regarding illegal working because it was unwieldy and it did not provide us with flexibility. We are trying to ensure that for employers who genuinely do their best, but are not putting the right processes in place, we have a series of appropriate sanctions that we can bring to bear. So there will be a maximum fine of £2,000 per illegal
 
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worker. It may not be used in all cases. We may caution people if they collaborate and are co-operative, we might, for example, reduce that sum. However, it is fair to say to an employer, "When you employ someone, you have a responsibility to check". That means checking at the beginning and may mean checking again later. A code of practice is being issued to employers that will make the process as simple and as straightforward as possible—but the sanctions are realistic.

For those who genuinely and knowingly employ illegal workers, there are further sanctions that include imprisonment. That is the reason for what we have done. This is a better, more appropriate, more flexible way. We do not want to put burdens on employers, but they must recognise that they have a responsibility to make sure that what they are doing is right. We are keen, as some noble Lords have said, to ensure that employers do not discriminate against workers, which would be utterly against the grain of what we want to achieve.

The noble Lord, Lord Dholakia, asked how many enforcement officers there are—we have some 1,200 in the UK and we are seeking to increase the level of arrest-trained staff. That is important. We shall return to the question of employment in greater depth, but I hope that noble Lords will accept that as a brief description of what we are trying to do.

The noble Lord, Lord Wallace of Saltaire, talked about my favourite subject, Europe. As the Minister responsible for European civil justice, having had a huge triumph last week, I could talk for a long time—but I will not. It is very important that we work closely with our colleagues in the European Union. The Home Secretary was impressive last week in obtaining agreements in Brussels on data retention. We went to the wire, but we got there. It was important for matters such as the European arrest warrant that we have that collaboration. Fingerprints of asylum seekers are already being shared with EU member states through the Eurodat database, which has been operation for about two years. The "Dublin regulation" has successfully enabled us to remove approximately 200 asylum applicants per month to the EU state responsible. I hope that that is useful to the noble Lord, Lord Wallace of Saltaire.

The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chelmsford asked whether we monitor people kept in detention. Yes, we keep quarterly statistics on how many people are detained and for how long, but do not include their ages.

Lord Hylton: My Lords, regarding detention, will the Minister consider a system whereby magistrates could visit detention centres, perhaps weekly, to see whether the original detention was justified, whether it should be continued and whether each person that might get bail can get it? That would comply with
 
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suggestions made by the UN High Commissioner. I should have mentioned that point before, but I hope that it can still be considered.

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: My Lords, I was going to reply to that anyway, because the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, sent me a note. It was to be my next point. I presume that what the noble Lord seeks is consideration of the lawfulness of immigration detention. Mechanisms already exist for those who wish to challenge that, either through traditional review or habeas corpus. We have no plans at this stage to alter the existing arrangements, but detainees must be advised of right to legal advice, and how they can obtain it, within 24 hours of their arrival at a removal centre. Every removal centre has an independent monitoring board for treatment of detainees. I will write more fully to the noble Lord on that, too, to make sure that I have covered his point. I was grateful for the welcome given by the noble Earl, Lord Sandwich, for the inclusion of Clause 45 regarding the inspection of detention facilities.

I conclude by dealing with the very important issues raised by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, which we shall consider in much greater depth, as the noble Baroness, Lady Stern, indicated,. I have had a chance to look at some of some of the issues that it raised. The noble Baroness asked how I could claim that the Bill was compatible with human rights. We believe that it is compatible, not least because there is no human right, as such, to citizenship, which the JCHR accepts. Full appeal against deportation can be made either to the asylum and immigration tribunal or to SIAC. Deportation cannot be carried out until the appeal is finally determined. We believe that the framing of the Bill is compatible with human rights. We also believe that Clause 7 is fully compatible with our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. We anticipate this working alongside the memorandum of understanding that we have agreed with the governments of Jordan and Libya and are currently negotiating with the governments of Algeria and Lebanon. Those memoranda are for obtaining specific assurances on the individual treatment of a person who is to be returned. It is about ensuring that those who threaten our national security can be removed, but in full conformity with our international obligations. It is for the courts, not the Government, to decide in each case whether that assessment is correct—that is important.

We do not accept that Clause 52 defines terrorism too widely. We believe that we have dealt effectively with compatibility with the refugee convention. In these clauses, we are seeking to make explicit what we believe Article 1(F)(c) implicitly requires us to do.

Noble Lords asked what the current criteria are for deprivation of British nationality. As they will know, the two grounds are acts seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom and nationality obtained by deception. That information may be implicit in Article 1(F)(c) of the convention but it is not stated explicitly. It refers only to acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations, but, as
 
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noble Lords—in particular, those on the committee—will be aware, the resolution on the interpretation of that article states that,

as well as the commission of terrorist acts, constitute acts,

We have looked at other resolutions, such as Resolution 1624, to try to put into the Bill as accurately and appropriately as we can our interpretation of Article 1(F)(c).

The noble Baroness asked whether we are proposing to rely on the existing definition of terrorism in the Terrorism Act. That is the current law. The review by the noble Lord, Lord Carlile, is very important, and while it is ongoing, we will use the current law. The noble Baroness rightly raised the whole question of unacceptable behaviours and asked whether the deprivation of British nationality and right of abode is correctly framed. She will know that on 24 August the Secretary of State issued a statement in which he went through a series of unacceptable behaviours. I shall not read them out to your Lordships now but I will make them available. We have included in our thinking conduct seriously prejudicial, war crimes, serious crimes, threat to public order and actions prejudicial to relations between the UK and another state. We do not believe that we should set out an exhaustive list—as noble Lords know, I do not like lists—because there might be circumstances in which a future Secretary of State could lawfully be satisfied that deprivation was conducive to the public good. That is why we are resisting the inclusion of a list in the Bill.


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