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Stephen Williams promoted in Lib Dem reshuffle

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  1. Omar Kuddus 20 Dec 2007, 4:20pm

    In reference to: Baiai [2007] EWCA Civ 478Mr Williams as the newly appointed Liberal Democrat frontbench spokesman and becoming the only gay man in the party’s ‘Shadow Cabinet, I put to you what are you going to do in regards to the need of a Certificate of Approval (CoA), (that Leicester Registry Office is requiring from me for my Iranian Kurdish gay partner).This is despite my insistence that on the 23rd of May 2007 the court of appeal ruled that the CoA “scheme is unlawful”. For your reference I have attached the link to the ruling of Baiai [2007] EWCA Civ 478 from the law firm of Alison Harvey Gherson Co.gherson.com/articles/ court-of-appeal-on- certificates-of-approval-fo… I bring to your attention that the court of appeal held that the scheme was unlawful because it was inconsistent with article 12 of the Human Rights Act: The Right to Marry.”Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right.”Whilst baring a superficial resemblance to article 8, article 12 is a distint provision and is of much narrower scope. ‘…the Secretary of State can only interfere with the exercise of article 12 rights in cases that involve, or very likely involve, sham marriages entered into with the object of improving the immigration status of one of the parties. To be proportionate, a scheme to achieve that end must either properly investigate individual cases, or at least show that it has come close to isolating cases that very likely fall into the target category. It must also show that the marriages targeted do indeed make substantial inroads into the enforcement of immigration control. .the scheme in issue in this case does not pass that test.’ Furthermore the judges stated that Mr Baiais legal status in the UK at the time (which is no different to that of my partners currently) that prevented him from marrying was still unlawful. ‘There may well be good grounds for saying that when a person should not be in this country at all, even on a temporary basis, it would be reasonable and proportionate to prevent him from using the access to article 12 that that physical presence gives him in order to improve his immigration position. But that is not the basis on which the Secretary of State rested his refusal of Mr Baiai’s application. The only right that he claimed to interfere with Mr Baiai’s intended marriage was, and had to be, based on the scheme. The objection inherent in the scheme, that it inhibits marriages on grounds of immigration status rather than by a reliable consideration of the genuineness of the marriage, applies just as much in the case of an illegal entrant such as Mr Baiai as in the case of persons with very limited permission to be here…’.The Court of Appeal held that the right to marry is “an important and fundamental right” and considering that statutory law grants being British myself this “fundamental right” to me. It was also stated that the CoA was in fundamental contradiction and violation of Article 14 of the Human Rights Act: Prohibition on Discrimination.”the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this convention shall be secured without discrimination on any grounds such as sex, race, colour, language religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.”The Home Office’s official situation is that following the Appeal Court ruling, the Home Office stopped issuing CoAs but did not withdraw the requirement to have one before a civil marriage can take place.They have applied to the House of Lords for Reconsideration of the Appeal Court’s ruling and are waiting for their appeal to be accepted and listed for hearing, and in the meantime, have begun issuing CoAs in certain specific cases

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