Theresa May is heading for a renewed showdown with the courts over the rights of foreign prisoners battling to avoid deportation after signalling yesterday that she would bring in primary legislation if judges failed to implement new rules.
The Guardian reports that the home secretary will seek the backing of parliament to give priority to deportation above the right to family life enshrined in article 8 of the European convention on human rights.
A father, whose 12-year-old daughter was knocked down and killed by a failed asylum seeker, has welcomed Theresa May's calls to seek the backing of Parliament for new guidelines on how courts should apply the European Convention on Human Rights on the deportation of foreign criminals.
Paul Houston's daughter Amy died after being hit by Iraqi Kurd Aso Mohammed Ibrahim’s car in Blackburn in November 2003. He fought for Ibrahim to be deported, but in 2011 Ibrahim was allowed to stay under Human Rights laws, because he now has two children in the UK.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said Mrs May's announcement on Article 8 would do nothing to address the failings in the UK Border Agency which meant fewer foreign criminals were being deported.
"The truth is this Government is deporting fewer and fewer foreign criminals every year because of failures in enforcement and administration," she said.
"Drawing up new guidance for the courts is sensible, and Parliament will need to debate the detail. But it isn't enough to sort out the problem.
"The Home Secretary needs to get a grip of the Border Agency and address the fundamental reasons why too many foreign criminals are not deported."
Home Secretary Theresa May today issued a warning to judges that their powers to block the deportation of foreign criminals on human rights grounds must be curbed.
Mrs May said she would be seeking the backing Parliament for new guidelines for the courts spelling out how the courts should apply the European Convention on Human Rights in such cases.
In particular, she said she would be making clear that the right to a family life enshrined in Article 8 of the convention - used by some foreign criminals to appeal against removal from the country - was not absolute.
She complained the judges were not taking account of the wider public interest in the way the convention enabled them to.
And she warned that if they ignored the will of Parliament, she would bring in new legislation to ensure that it was enforced.
"This is not an absolute right. So in the interests of the economy or of controlling migration or of public order - those sort of issues - the state has a right to qualify this right to a family life," she told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.