Guest post by Amanda Spalding, PhD candidate at Kings College London and a teaching fellow of ECHR and EU law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Review of The Law and Practice of Expulsion and Exclusion from the United Kingdom: Deportation, Removal, Exclusion and Deprivation of Citizenship edited by Eric Fripp (Hart Publishing, 2015).

The Law and Practice of Expulsion and Exclusion from the United Kingdom focuses on the laws governing the deportation, removal, and exclusion of persons from the territory of the UK, as well as the deprivation of citizenship. It’s the first book to provide comprehensive guidance to the law and practice in this area of state power. The thorough research included in this volume reflects the fact that it’s intended to be used in ‘real-life’ by practitioners and is written with them in mind. This is evident by the long list of contributors, all of whom are practicing barristers. In the preface to the book, the editor, Eric Fripp, and the two deputy editors, Rowena Moffat and Ellis Wilford, make a convincing case for the importance of studying this particular area of the law. They argue that it’s of constitutional significance: who becomes and remains a citizen has democratic consequences because the law determines who is, and who is not, a political actor. The editors also highlight the impact of these decisions on individuals and the need to ensure that the rule of law is respected, particularly where such laws grant much discretion to the executive. This argument is especially relevant given the clear increase in the breadth and use of these powers in recent years.

The book covers not only domestic law but also the expansive legal framework which influences UK law in this area, including the relevant European Union and Council of Europe instruments as well as public international law, international human rights law, and the international laws relating to refugee law, statelessness, and human trafficking. Part B of the text provides an in-depth look at all of these relevant laws while providing some background to them, the relevant provisions and explanation as to how they work in practice. This provides the reader with the necessary context and a useful reference tool for the issues considered in the rest of the book.

Part C of The Law and Practice of Expulsion and Exclusion from the United Kingdom deals with the three main ways a person may be expelled or excluded from the UK: (1) deportation, which is where someone may be required to leave the UK because their presence isn’t desirable; (2) administrative removal, which is the process by which someone who’s in the UK unlawfully may be removed; and (3) exclusion, which refers to state’s right to refuse entry to those without the right of abode. Part D of the book addresses the law governing both the denial and deprivation of British citizenship, while Part E outlines the potential remedies available, both domestically and internationally.

This book is really a practitioner’s guide and isn’t intended to be read to cover-to-cover by most readers. However, it still underscores some significant thematic points, most prominent of which is the importance of international law in this area, especially the relevance of the European Union and the Council of Europe. A good example of this is the thorough consideration of the limits that Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (that is, the right to respect for private and family life) places on the UK’s ability to deport and remove foreign nationals. The significance of this provision is made clear by the attempts of the Home Office to limit its effect and curtail court discretion (most recently see Section 19 of the Immigration Act 2014).

Another important issue is the extremely broad discretion now held by the Secretary of State concerning the power to deprive a person of their British citizenship. This practice may now be pursued if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the deprivation is ‘conducive to the public good.’ Given the broad terms used in describing when the Secretary of State may find deprivation ‘conducive to the public good,’ there are few limits on this power. To make matters worse, this power is often used when individuals are outside of the UK, which leaves them stranded abroad and prevents their recourse to UK courts―see, for example, the case of L1 v SSHD [2013] EWCA Civ 906. This trend reflects a worrying attitude of the Home Office that’s evident throughout the book: the continuing effort to widen executive discretion and hinder access to court as much as possible. This issue is further highlighted in Part E of the book in which contributors demonstrate the reluctance of the UK to participate fully in international human rights law. The UK has so far failed to sign the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 which would allow individuals to petition the United Nations Human Rights Committee for a judgment.

Overall, The Law and Practice of Expulsion and Exclusion from the United Kingdom provides an analytical and comprehensive legal account of the relevant law and practice in areas of deportation, removal, and exclusion from the UK, and the denial and deprivation of British citizenship. Given the increasing tension between the Home Office’s desire to expand its discretion and control in these areas and the courts’ need to protect their independence and the rights of individuals, there’s been continuously growing legislation and case-law in this area. Thus, this comprehensive and reliable book should be welcomed by practitioners and those who study this area of the law.

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How to cite this blog post (Harvard style):

Spalding, A. (2015) Book Review: The Law and Practice of Expulsion and Exclusion from the United Kingdom. Available at: http://bordercriminologies.law.ox.ac.uk/law-and-practice-of-expulsion/ (Accessed [date]).