'Deport first, appeal later': Home Secretary vows to enforce new rules after Abu Qatada saga

Justice Secretary calls for 'wholesale changes' to Human Rights law in Britain

The Government’s nine-year battle to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada amounted to “a mockery of our system of justice” and is to become the basis for wide-ranging changes, Home Secretary Theresa May said.

These include a “deport first, appeal later” rule which has already been put through Parliament in the Crime and Court Act 2013.

And Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said the Government was ruling nothing out as it sought “a fundamental change to our relationship with the European Court of Human Rights”.

The saga of Qatada’s deportation finally drew to a close early on Sunday morning and his trial on terrorism charges in now underway in Jordan.

Theresa May said in the Metro newspaper: “I am proud this government has finally managed to get him out.”

She added: “Abu Qatada has gone. My task is now to ensure nothing similar to the ludicrously lengthy process it took to get him out ever happens again.”

Her efforts to this end are already underway – with Section 54 of the new law, a deportation on national security grounds can now only be blocked if the person would “face a real risk of serious irreversible harm if removed”. 

It also adds greater powers for the Secretary of State to “certify that removal would not breach the United Kingdom’s obligations under the Human Rights Convention”, even if an appeal is underway.

And speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Politics show, Chris Grayling said: “There will be wholesale changes to the way human rights laws operate in this country.”

As Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, Mr Grayling is responsible for determining the legal changes needed to enact Ms May’s promise.

And he said that the Conservative party would be making Human Rights a key factor in their general election campaign.

When asked if he was considering a UK withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights, Mr Grayling said he was “ruling nothing out”.

And he said: “At a minimum there will be a replacement for the human rights act, and we will have a fundamental change to our relationship with the European Court of Human Rights.”

Abu Qatada is currently being held in the maximum security Muwaqar prison near the Jordanian capital Amman, and his lawyers will today fight for him to be released on bail.

They said yesterday in court that he is not guilty of conspiring to twice commit terrorist acts in Jordan.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'