This is a particularly important provision within the context of immigration cases and protects the right to family and private life. Since the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force, the Human Rights contained in the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 (ECHR) have been directly arguable in the United Kingdom’s courts, including the Immigration Tribunals. Despite attempts by successive governments to limit the application of Article 8 ECHR, this is still in practice an extremely important provision but needs to be approached and argued in the right way. Often Human Rights lawyers will be required to provide extensive evidence, and a thorough and targeted approach is needed at an early stage to be successful in these kind of cases. As much time as possible should therefore be allowed for preparation.
Family life may include a relationship with a spouse, committed unmarried partner or child. Usually the family members would need to either be British or have settled status/Indefinite Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom. (There is a different regime and more generous regime still available for family members and extended family members of EEA nationals). Relationships with wider family members and those between adults are generally not relevant within the Immigration Rules, but could add further weight to an Article 8 claim outside of the Rules.
The rights of children are of particular importance as the Home Office is under a positive duty to decide cases in accordance with Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, having due regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of affected children who are in the United Kingdom. The principle of the Best Interests of the Child must also be considered as a primary consideration.
Private life under the Immigration Rules may include unlawful long residence of 20 years, 7 years continuous residence as a child where it would be unreasonable for the child and their family to leave the United Kingdom, spending over half of one’s life in the United Kingdom and being aged under 25 years and their being very significant obstacles to integration in the proposed country of removal. It is still possible in exceptional cases for someone with a very strong private life to succeed in their case, however in practice the Home Office seldom exercise their residual discretion in complex applications meaning that the prospects of success are usually far higher at the appeal stage.
Whilst Article 8 ECHR is the provision that is most relied upon by human rights solicitors in immigration cases there are other human rights that may be relevant. For example Article 2 – the right to life, Article 3 – the right not to be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment or torture, Article 6 ECHR – the right to a fair trial and Article 12 – the right to marry and start a family may be relevant in particular cases. There are also human rights that are relevant to specific groups such as children or women. At Montecristo LLP, our expert human rights solicitors have an extensive knowledge of human rights law and will therefore be able to advise you what provisions apply in your case.
At Montecristo LLP we have a small but niche asylum practice that is privately funded (we do not offer legal aid). The asylum system concerns the application for recognised refugee status. In order to qualify one must show a “well-founded fear of persecution” for one of the 5 reasons set out in the 1951 Refugee Convention, being race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group and political opinion. One must also show that it would be unreasonable to expect them to relocate within their country of origin. If there is “real risk” of “serious harm” for a reason outside of the 1951 Refugee Convention then a grant of humanitarian protection may be appropriate. Our human rights lawyers offer a professional and bespoke service dependant on our client’s needs. We have successfully represented high profile individuals and their families who have encountered problems in their home countries. We are both suitably qualified and experienced to personally represent our clients both when claiming asylum and at their subsequent interviews.
Our human rights solicitors can assist with all stages of the process and fully prepare the application on behalf of the client. We will advise on the merits at the outset and make clear the legal and evidential requirements so that the application is set up on the best footing from the very start. We of course advise on all the supporting documents and evidence required and take the client through the immigration process from start to finish.
Our expert human rights lawyers can assist with templates for documents specified by the Rules and deal with third parties where necessary and we aim to make the whole process as smooth as possible. If there are any issues in your immigration matter you will know before applying and we can help best overcome them. In short, we prevent mistakes and ensure any application meets the requirements of the Immigration Rules. We are here to help you safely navigate your way through the UK immigration process.