Bloomberg News

U.K. Aims to Avoid Foreign Prisoners Exploiting Human Rights Law

June 10, 2012

The U.K. government plans to set guidance for judges to keep foreign prisoners from using human rights laws to avoid deportation and will introduce stricter family immigration rules, Home Secretary Theresa May said.

Parliament will vote on guidance on how courts should apply article 8 of the Human Rights Act, the right to family life, May said on the British Broadcasting Corp.’s Andrew Marr Show.

The vote “will set out clearly what constitutes the right to a family life and how you balance the interest of the public against the interests of the individual,” May said today. “We have seen cases going through our courts where people who are criminals whom we want to deport have been able to stay in the U.K. because the courts have said, ‘No, you have this right to family life.’”

Family life “is not an absolute right,” May said.

May is also proposing new curbs to immigration rules such as setting a minimum salary of 18,600 pounds ($28,700) for people who wish to bring in a foreign spouse from outside the European Union, with the amount rising for each child a parent wishes to bring into the U.K.

“We think it right the required income should be increased for each child,” May said. The new rules are about “being able to support yourselves and not being reliant on the state.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Svenja O’Donnell in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at

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