Monday, July 1, 2013

The violent criminal Britain can't deport because of his seven children by three different women

A violent foreign criminal who held a knife to the throat of a victim has overturned a government attempt to deport him due to his “right to family life”.

Lee Corbin, 50, has been allowed to stay in Britain because of what a court described as his “amazing” relationship with seven children he has fathered by three different women.

Corbin has 75 criminal convictions to his name and has been handed jail sentences totalling more than 16 years since he came to this country in 1978.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, began a legal bid to send him back to Barbados after he had served his latest four-year jail term for an attempted knife-point robbery.

The immigration tribunal agreed Corbin poses a danger to the public, and to his partner, and that he poses a “high risk of committing further offences”.

However, the judges concluded his human rights, enshrined in European legislation, outweigh the danger he poses to the public.

The panel ruled that Corbin’s “amazing (sic) strong family life” meant that he should be allowed to stay.

Mrs May appealed against the decision but lost, and Corbin will now be able to stay in Britain permanently.

MPs described Corbin’s case as “scandalous” and said it highlighted an urgent need for reform of human rights laws.

Corbin, 50, came to Britain from Barbados in 1978 aged 16 and was granted indefinite leave to remain.

He was convicted of robbery at Bristol Crown Court in 1997 and jailed for six years.

In 2005, he was jailed for eight weeks for a number of motoring offences and resisting a constable, and the following year the Home Office warned him that he would be liable for deportation if he got into trouble again.

Despite this, in 2010 he was convicted of attempted robbery and possession of an offensive weapon and jailed for four years.

The crime involved Corbin placing a knife at his victim’s throat.

Any foreign criminal jailed for more than 12 months is subject to automatic deportation and, therefore, the Home Secretary wrote to Corbin to tell him she was going to attempt to have him removed from Britain.

Corbin’s lawyers warned the home secretary they would fight the case under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the “right to private and family life”.

Mrs May went ahead and the criminal appealed to the immigration tribunal.

“He relied upon his private life formed over 34 years in the UK and also family life which he had formed with seven children who had been born to three different partners in the UK,” said the court papers.

“The first-tier tribunal allowed the appeal under the rules and also under Article 8.”

The Home Secretary lodged her own appeal against the decision, arguing the judges had failed to take into account the “high risk of reoffending” and the fact that Corbin had received 24 convictions for 75 separate criminal offences.

She also argued the lower court had failed to apply new rules she introduced last summer which set out that foreign criminals should only be able to make successful claims under Article 8 in “exceptional” cases.

However, Upper Tribunal Judge Andrew Grubb said the original judges did not make any mistakes and upheld the decision, dismissing the Home Secretary’s appeal.

Priti Patel, a Conservative MP, said: “This is a scandalous example of how human rights legislation is being used and abused by criminals who have no regard for conventional family life.

“This is a very clear example of why we need the Home Office and the British Parliament to have the final say on such cases.”

David Davies, the MP for Monmouth who also works as a special constable, said: “This man is a walking example of what’s wrong with human rights in this country.

“It is outrageous that a load of human rights judges give more credibility to his right to stay in Britain committing acts of violence and robbery, rather than the rights of his innocent victims.”

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “This kind of case is precisely why we are looking to change the law in the new Immigration Bill which will be introduced later this year.

“We want to ensure the courts properly reflect Parliament’s view that serious criminals should be deported unless there are very exceptional circumstances.”


UN convention turns Australia into a magnet for asylum-seekers

by Greg Sheridan

IS the Refugee Convention itself now the problem? The convention dates from 1951 and was designed to deal with people fleeing persecution across land borders in Europe. It had the Holocaust in mind. The idea was that if someone, generally a government, was trying to kill you because of your race or religion and you fled to escape death, you would not then be forced back to your persecutor.

Sadly, like most things associated with the UN, it has grown into a sort of grotesque parody of itself, with vast unintended consequences.

The actual wording of the convention is not too bad. The obligations it imposes on signatories are reasonably limited. The main one is that a country may not return a refugee to the place from which he has fled persecution. Nothing John Howard did, nothing that Tony Abbott proposes, contravenes the convention.

It is clear, and sometimes explicit, in the convention's wording that it envisages people fleeing directly from persecution in one country to haven, temporary or permanent, in an adjacent neighbour. So how is it that, ostensibly under the auspices of the convention, there are now Iranians, Lebanese, Palestinians, Somalis, Afghans, Pakistanis and others arriving in Australia's north and claiming to be refugees?

No provision of the convention allows a refugee to "forum shop", that is, to use their status to claim immigration rights in any country they choose.

The convention talks of people directly fleeing persecution. But the folks arriving in Australia use, or misuse, a technicality in the convention.

Technically, they have not passed through another country which is a convention signatory. This is only possible because almost all of Southeast Asia is, very sensibly, not signed up to the convention. Only Cambodia, East Timor and The Philippines are signatories.

Therefore, if a person who wants to live in Australia can get on a direct flight to Indonesia, or even Malaysia, they can get to Australia without passing through any signatory countries. Given the flying range of jumbo jets, this is now possible for virtually anyone in the world. Of course, to do this means flying away from all sorts of convention signatory countries next door. Afghanistan, for instance, has a slew of signatory countries on or near its borders - Kyrgistan, Kazakhstan and lots of others. But who would want to live there?

Iran, similarly, has the signatory country Turkey, until recently a good friend of Iran's, virtually next door. And a whole swath of European and other convention signatories much closer than Australia. But if an Iranian flies direct to Malaysia, where he gets visa free entry, he can get to Australia without, technically, going through another signatory country.

This shouldn't really make any difference, because the only real obligation under the convention is not to return a genuine refugee to the land of his persecution. This is regarded as being now part of customary international law for all nations. And some countries that are signatories to the convention, such as China, do not observe this rule, as when it forces North Koreans attempting to flee back to their homeland.

But the convention operates now in three ways that are extremely bad for Australia.

First, because it is a treaty we have signed, it has been substantially imported into our domestic law. But because some of its language is imprecise and aspirational, an imperial judiciary can steal much of the power from the parliament by interpreting such language expansively.

Second, Australia's status as a signatory to the convention acts as an enormously powerful magnet, attracting all manner of aspirational immigrants, drawn by Australia's material riches and generous welfare, who can then use the convention to qualify for immigration status they would never get otherwise.

And third, it allows the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to play a wholly inappropriate part in our domestic politics. The UNHCR regional director was lambasting Australia this week for trying to control its borders by reducing the incentive of quick, permanent resettlement and endless welfare. Why isn't the UNHCR making a song and dance about getting Indonesia and Malaysia and the rest of Southeast Asia even to sign up to the convention? In truth there is not another country in Southeast Asia, or in Northeast Asia, remotely as generous to illegal arrivals claiming refugee status as Australia is.

All talk of Australia damaging its reputation by its treatment of illegal arrivals is nonsense. Insofar as we have a splenetic internal debate, in which the champions of faux compassion accuse everyone else of heartlessness, other nations will notice this debate and repeat some of our own criticisms of ourselves. But no sane comparison of the treatment of illegal arrivals in any nation in our region is remotely to Australia's disadvantage. We are the softest touch in the region, and everyone in the region knows it. Increasingly, everyone in the world knows it, which is why illegal immigration to Australia is becoming such a big, well financed, global, criminal business.

So, should we leave the convention altogether? I don't think so. It would be too difficult and controversial and we would still face the obligations of customary law anyway. But we should completely decouple domestic law from the convention. An Abbott government will face an enormous challenge in this area and will have to do a lot of tough legislating if it is to prevail.

The Liberals' one big strategic mistake so far was to block the Malaysia swap deal. This deal wouldn't have stopped the boats but the legislation the government offered would have allowed offshore processing anywhere an Australian government wanted it to happen. This sort of power will be vital if an Abbott government is to win the looming, epic battle of wills against the people-smuggling industry, and their Australian supporters. And by insisting Malaysia was no good because it was not a signatory to the convention, the Liberals reinforced the false moral authority of the convention, and of the UNHCR.


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