Avoid deportation by joining a Gym – claims Daily Mail

According to the Daily Mail website today: ‘Failed asylum seeker who has dodged deportation for a decade told he can stay… because he goes to the GYM’.

What the judge actually said was:

‘He had integrated well within the Glasgow community, had a large network of friends, most of whom were Scottish, and socialised with those friends at the gymnasium, at five-a-side football, in coffee shops, at college, in the library and at their homes.’

The asylum seeker was appealing to Article 8 of the ECHR which allows a human being the right to remain in a country if they have established a private life. Going to the gym was one small part of this case, rather like owning a cat was one small part of another case back in 2009 that has been doing the rounds again lately thanks to Theresa May. Needless to say this article has already attracted over 500 comments, largely from utterly stupid people who cannot see how ludicrous the headline actually is.

5 thoughts on “Avoid deportation by joining a Gym – claims Daily Mail”

  1. Long time fan of your blog but this is my first post so be gentle. The misreporting of article 8 really riles me so I thought it was a good place to start.

    I wanted to clarify this
    “The asylum seeker was appealing to Article 8 of the ECHR which allows a human being the right to remain in a country if they have established a private life.”

    Contrary to what you may read in the papers, that isn’t quite how article 8 works. It is not an absolute right to a private or family life, it is a qualified right to a family or private life. The state is allowed to interfere in someone’s private or family life as long as that interference is deemed proportionate and reasonable in a civilised society. That means that what the state and the courts are required to do is balance up both sides of the case and come to a reasoned decision as to whether it would be proportionate to interfere with someone’s private or family life by deporting or removing them. The maintenance of an effective immigration control, and the prevention of crime and disorder, are both legitimate reasons to interfere.

    So, imagine a big set of scales. On the one side, you’ve got the state’s legitimate aim, and on the other side you’ve got the individual’s rights. The fact that someone may have been here for 10 years plus and has kept their nose clean during that time may weigh quite heavily on their side of the argument, particularly if they’ve kept in touch with the Home Office and/or there have been outstanding applications to remain that have been unanswered and it is the Home Office’s fault that the case hasn’t been resolved. On the state’s side of the argument, if the person hasn’t kept their nose clean during that period, or they’ve deliberately not complied with the Home Office’s attempts to remove them, that may weigh quite heavily in favour of the state. It’s about coming to a reasoned, balanced decision after weighing up all the factors.

    Most of these cases that are getting misreported recently have one thing in common: Home Office delay. If the Home Office had resolved the cases more quickly, the person’s article 8 rights would not have strengthed to the point where removal became disproportionate. So, is that the fault of ‘evil’ article 8 or the Home Office?

    Which brings me nicely on to children. There is a bit of caselaw (Beoku Betts) which says that when the state is planning to deport or remove someone, they are required to not only consider the article 8 rights of the immigrant, but also the article 8 rights of any immediate family members that would be affected by the decision. Going back to the set of scales, any children, who are of course innocent of any crime and not responsible for the parent’s dodgy immigration or criminal history, weigh quite heavily on the immigrant’s side of the scales. The state has to consider whether it is a proportionate interference in those children’s lives to either require them to up sticks and move away with the parent, or to require them to grow up without the parent in their lives. It may be that the immigrant’s background is such that the children are better off without them, or that the children have such close ties with the parent’s home country it would be entirely reasonable for them to live there. For every case that makes headlines, others are dismissed and removed. One thing is clear: The cases being allowed because of children are not being allowed because of the immigrant’s right to family life, they are being allowed because of *their children’s* right to family life. The court has asked itself whether it is proportionate for an innocent child, who may even be British, to leave the country of its birth and/or to grow up without a mother/father; and has decided that in that particular case, the answer is no.

  2. Metro’s version of this story actually mentioned Theresa May’s speech, saying she talked about a man who was “apparently” allowed to stay because he had a cat. “Apparently” in this context seeming to mean “not in any way whatsoever”. It’s astounding that papers will wilfully print lies like this so soon after a major politician was seriously embarrassed for pulling the same trick.

  3. I believe that was only the judge summarising the case made by the asylum seeker in question. He also hasn’t “dodged deportation” because the judge has referred the decision to the home secretary.

  4. The story is in fact utter bollocks for more reasons than are stated above. The judgement can be seen here. It’s not terribly long and makes it quite clear that what Lord Glennie held was that the “anxious scrutiny” that should, for obvious reasons, be given to every claim for asylum, clearly was not given here, with references to non-existent letters and other parts of the decision that indicated minimal scrutiny.

    Rather than the applicant being “told he can stay”, his aplication for Judicial Review has succeeded ONLY to the extent that his case has been referred back to the authorities for further consideration, so there is no guarantee he will ultimately succeed. Still, no doubt Stormfront will accept the Mail version as gospel

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