David Walbank KC, in his latest article for New Law Journal, examined whether homophobic persecution was a bar to the deportation of a ‘foreign criminal’

January 6, 2023

The World Cup in Qatar put the whole issue of LGBQT rights under the spotlight and forcefully reminded us that the liberal approach of the Western democracies is by no means mirrored across the globe, even in states wishing to gain acceptance into the family of nations.

This subject recently came before the Supreme Court in SC (Jamaica) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] 1 WLR 3190, which turned on whether a deportee’s criminal record in the UK impacts on what he can reasonably be expected to do to escape homophobic violence following deportation. Lord Stephens encapsulated the point as follows:

“The first issue in this appeal is whether SC’s criminal conduct in the UK is a factor relevant in determining if he could reasonably be expected to stay in a rural area of Jamaica, so that, for instance his criminality may turn internal relocation from what would otherwise be unreasonable into what is reasonable based on a value judgement of what is ‘due’ to him as a criminal. Accordingly, does internal relocation in Jamaica, which is unreasonable apart from SC’s criminal conduct in the UK, become reasonable because he has committed serious offences in the UK?”

Their Lordships answered that question in the negative, holding that neither the individual’s criminal history nor a value judgement that deportation was “their due as a convicted criminal” had any bearing on whether internal relocation would be unduly harsh or unreasonable.

For the full article, see [CRIME BRIEF SC (Jamaica) v Home Secretary]