The Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill proposes to replace existing orders (such as ASBOs) with a new generation of injunctions which are easier to obtain, harder to comply with and have harsher penalties. The Bill would also introduce unfair double punishment for the vulnerable, as social tenants and their families will face mandatory eviction for breaching a term of an injunction. Other measures in the Bill include some restrictions on Schedule 7 stop and search powers which, while welcome, unfortunately come nowhere near addressing the dangerous breadth and intrusiveness of these powers. The Bill also weakens key safeguards in our already heavily-criticised extradition system by removing the automatic right of appeal against extradition orders.
Successive administrations, in fraught attempts to look tough on immigration, have preferred endless reams of new legislation to the rather dull task of tackling widely acknowledged delays and inefficiency in the administration. The Immigration Bill continues this trend. It is a deeply irresponsible piece of legislation which, far from encouraging public confidence in the system, would allow the Government to shirk its responsibilities and insulate itself from challenge. The provisions of this Bill add to the layers of painful complexity which have come to characterise our immigration law, meaning that it is scarcely understandable by trained practitioners, never mind those subject to immigration control and the general public.