Human rights down under

Leaving aside the irony in Australia returning a criminal to the UK there is a singular contrast with our treatment of Stephen Lawrence’s killer, whom the courts ruled could not be deported. Few will be surprised at Australia taking the action it has, and Raymond Horne is just the latest in a line of paedophiles deported by the Australian authorities, but he has lived in Australia since he was five, and has no friends or family in this country. Leaving aside the consequences of deportation (as those who treat men like Horne are concerned that the stress may make him more likely to reoffend), there is something particularly inhuman in sending someone who is to all intents and purposes, and notwithstanding what he has done, an Australian, back to a country he now has no connection with save by accident of birth. Our government pleads that this is simply international law, as it suits their purposes (they too want to deport non-UK criminals: it is just that they have to find them first). But it reflects no credit on Canberra.

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