Judges have made an unprecedented attack on the ‘wholly abusive’ way that immigrants are exploiting the British legal system, the Daily Mail reports.
The Judges Council said that, for some types of appeal, a staggering 85 per cent of cases did not have any ‘merit’.
They have either been ‘dreamt up’ by lawyers seeking to line their own pockets, or are a blatant last-ditch attempt to stop deportations taking place.
Many – including appeals made by foreign criminals – are brought under the controversial Article 8 of Labour’s Human Rights Act – the ‘right to a family and private life’.
And despite the rampant exploitation of the system, the taxpayer is writing legal cheques worth £12million a year for immigration cases. Effectively – and farcically – the British Government is picking up the bill for the thwarting of its own attempts to control immigration.
In a single year, the public funded a staggering 37,300 immigration appeals, according to Ministry of Justice figures seen by the Mail. It is the equivalent of more than 100 cases every day.
Justice officials say the legal aid is being spent on ‘advice on how to get a visa to enter the UK, or how to avoid being deported once they’re here’.
It includes advice to immigrants from Europe looking to work in Britain, and migrants from outside Europe who want to study, get work experience or join their families who have emigrated to the UK.
In a devastating letter to Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke, the Judges Council of England and Wales – which speaks for the judiciary – paints a picture of appalling abuse. The judges say that, out of 12,500 judicial review claim forms issued in the Administrative Court in 2010, about 7,500 concerned asylum or immigration.
The claims have been considered – and dismissed – by the Secretary of State and at least one immigration tribunal, making the judicial review a ‘second or sometimes the third or fourth bite of the cherry’.
The judges’ letter to Mr Clarke goes on: ‘Most claims fail, most of the claims which fail are without merit, and many are wholly abusive of the court’s process.
‘When the claim itself is publicly funded, two sets of publicly funded costs will be incurred – all irrecoverable. No-one derives any legitimate benefit from this litigation.
‘The intervention of publicly funded lawyers does not reduce the number of unmeritorious claims of this type to the extent that might be expected. Bad claims are advanced by publicly funded lawyers as well as by litigants in person – albeit litigants in person are responsible for a greater proportion of hopeless cases. Often, bad claims are advanced by lawyers which an individual would not have thought of for himself.’
One senior immigration judge, Sir Anthony May, said most claims he heard were the third or fourth time a person had been to a tribunal. They are brought by failed asylum seekers trying to block their removal at the last minute.
Sir Anthony said: ‘Sometimes we have to deal with 20 or even more such applications every day when there is a chartered flight going out of Gatwick, Stansted or wherever it is. Let us say that 85 per cent of them – that is a figure I rather pluck out of the air but it is of that order – are of no merit.’
Last week, the Mail revealed how the Human Rights Act was having a huge negative impact on the immigration system. Thousands of foreign criminals, failed asylum seekers and EU ‘benefit tourists’ are using the legislation to thwart Home Office attempts to enforce the rules.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, they are using the controversial Article 8. Cases included hundreds of EU citizens who had no intention of working – but were permitted to stay here to potentially enjoy a life on benefits.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: ‘This is not just the right to family life. It is the right to family life at the expense of the hard-pressed taxpayer.
‘It brings the whole concept of human rights into disrepute. It is high time we took a critical look at the European Convention on Human Rights which is being exploited by lawyers in ways never remotely envisaged by its authors.’
Violent criminal Asim Parris beat deportation under human rights laws guaranteeing his ‘right to a family life – despite having little interest in his daughter and a string of convictions.
The 23-year-old convinced immigration judges and the Appeal Court that his ‘close bond’ with his daughter meant he should stay in Britain.
It thwarted an attempt by the Home Office to have him deported to Trinidad after a conviction for drug dealing.
Parris told an immigration tribunal and three Appeal Court judges that he was remorseful for his crimes and that his deportation would hurt his relationship with his daughter.
The Appeal Court ruled that the impact on members of Parris’s family would be ‘disproportionate, especially since he has a child who has a strong bond with him’.
But Naomi Chambers, Parris’s former girlfriend and the mother of his daughter Reinaya, said: ‘It’s not fair for him to use her as an excuse for staying. He’s only started to see her more regularly since the court case started, to prove he’s got family ties.
‘It was ridiculous that he told the court he is so close to her because he never saw her when he was out of prison.’
Parris came to Britain aged three to join his mother, who had remained here illegally after attending a niece’s engagement party.
She gained leave to stay and got British passports for Parris’s older brother and two sisters. However, she failed to obtain one for him.
After Reinaya’s birth in June 2007, Miss Chambers left Parris. Two months later, he attacked her while trying to snatch the child.
Parris was found guilty of battery and destruction. A string of offences followed, including possession of drugs, but an immigration tribunal found ‘there is no evidence at all that he has resorted back to drug taking, pushing or possessing’. Source: Daily Mail.
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