Over the next few posts we will be considering the role of the ‘public interest’ in deportation decisions, how the courts have interpreted the term and the way in which it is used in deportation decisions and appeals.

In deportation decisions the Secretary of State for the Home Department (“SSHD”) will argue that it is in the ‘public interest’ to deport foreign criminals. This view has been repeatedly endorsed by the courts, both domestic and European, and is even set out in primary legislation: s.32 (4) UK Borders Act 2007 (‘the deportation of a foreign criminal is conducive to the public good’). The ‘public good’ and the ‘public interest’ are referred to as ‘wide-ranging but undefined concepts’ where ‘broad issues of social cohesion and public confidence in the administration of the system by which control is exercised over non-British citizens who enter and remain in the United Kingdom are engaged : N (Kenya) v SSHD [2004] EWCA Civ 1094 at 83. In particular, three themes giving force to the public interest in deporting foreign criminals have been identified:

• preventing reoffending;

• the need to deter other foreign criminals from committing serious crimes; and

• the role of deportation as an expression of society’s ‘revulsion’ for the crimes committed: OH (Serbia) [2008] EWCA Civ 694 at 15.

It is not open to an individual made subject to deportation proceedings to argue that his deportation would not be conducive to the public good, nor is it necessary for the SSHD to prove that it is in any given case: RU (Bangladesh) v SSHD [2011] EWCA Civ 651. Over the next few posts we will try to analyse each of these facets of the ‘public interest’ and consider how they are used in decisions to deport foreign nationals from the United Kingdom.

Luqmani Thompson & Partners regularly represent clients facing deportation decisions, in appeals against decisions to deport and in applications for the revocation of Orders for Deportation.