联 合 国

CCPR/C/135/D/2981/2017

公民 及 政治权利 国际公约

Distr.: General

30 January 2023

Chinese

Original: English

人权事务委员会

委员会根据《任择议定书》第五条第四款通过的关于第2981/2017号来文的意见* ** ***

来文提交人:Graham Cayzer (由Nigel Davidson代理)

据称受害人:提交人

所涉缔约国:澳大利亚

来文日期:2016年7月13日 (首次提交)

参考文件:根据委员会议事规则第92条作出的决定,已于2017年5月24日转交缔约国(未以文件形式印发)

意见通过日期:2022年7月25日

事由:驱逐到大不列颠及北爱尔兰联合王国

程序性问题:属人理由、属事理由、受害者身份、缺乏证据

实质性问题:迁徙自由;任意逮捕;拘留;投票权;进入自己国家的权利;公正审判;家庭生活;一罪二审;作为公民被驱逐出境

《公约》条款:第九条第一款、第十二条第一款、第十二条第四款、第十四条、第十四条第七款、第十五条第一款、第二十四条第一款和第二十五条(丑)项

《任择议定书》条款:第二条和第三条

1.12016年7月13日来文的提交人是Graham Cayzer, 1960年出生于大不列颠及北爱尔兰联合王国苏格兰。他5岁时随家人移居澳大利亚。提交人指出,澳大利亚(缔约国)吊销他的签证、逮捕他、对他进行移民拘留并将他驱逐到联合王国,侵犯了他根据第九条第一款、第十二条第一款、第十二条第四款、第十四条、第十五条第一款、第二十四条第一款和第二十五条(丑)项享有的权利。提交人由律师代理。

1.2该申诉于2017年5月24日登记。委员会通过新来文和临时措施特别报告员行事,决定不批准提交人关于采取临时措施的请求。2017年12月10日,提交人被从澳大利亚遣返联合王国。

提交人陈述的事实

2.1提交人1960年8月1日出生于联合王国,父母为联合王国公民,不是澳大利亚公民。这家人于1965年10月5日移民澳大利亚。提交人立即获得永久居留签证,并在澳大利亚生活,直到2017年12月被遣返联合王国。他声称拥有澳大利亚/联合王国双重国籍,于1981年的仪式上宣誓效忠成为澳大利亚公民。他还在缔约国的选举中投票并参选。他没有放弃他的联合王国国籍。

2.22011年11月11日,塔斯马尼亚州最高法院判定提交人与17岁以下的人保持性关系。他被判处4年徒刑,并于2014年5月7日获得假释。

2.32014年10月27日,移民部长根据《移民法》(1958年)第501条第(2)款,决定吊销提交人的过渡(永久)签证,因为他被认定未通过“品格测试”。 2014年10月29日,移民当局通知提交人,他必须在2014年10月31日上午9时之前到其办事处报到。他还被告知,如果他未能在截止日期前报到,当局将寻求警方协助找到并拘留他。

2.42014年10月30日,提交人(在没有通知的情况下)申请了紧急单方面禁令,以防止在确定其公民身份期间缔约国对其进行移民拘留。联邦行政法院批准了提交人的禁令。根据该决定,考虑到作为其原判刑期的一部分,提交人在2015年11月之前处于假释期间,任何不符合报告条件的行为都会导致他被逮捕和监禁。因此,法院认为,逃跑的风险虽然不可能完全忽略不计,但这种风险很小,不足以改变倾向于现状的便利平衡,在这样的情况下,提交人当时没有被拘留。然而,联邦行政法院在2014年10月31日的裁决中准许缔约国提出要求撤销禁令的上诉。2014年11月12日,部长申请撤销阻止拘留提交人的禁令。联邦行政法院于2014年11月21日批准了部长要求撤销禁令的申请。

2.5与此同时,2014年11月13日,提交人还向联邦行政法院提出申请,要求对部长吊销其居留签证的决定进行司法审查,理由是他声称在1981年获得公民身份,因此不符合《移民法》第501条第(2)款规定的吊销签证权适用的外国人的定义。他以同样的理由对他的拘留提出质疑。他在申请中称,他在进入澳大利亚时不是外国人,因为他是联合王国国民,因此是“英联邦人”。他还认为,自从他到达缔约国以来,由于他有投票权(也曾参加竞选),他已经成为享有《澳大利亚宪法》第41条规定的受保护身份的英联邦人民之一。

2.62014年11月23日,四名警察来到提交人的家。敲门没人应答后,他们破窗强行进入家中。在搜查住所并发现提交人不在时,警察开始询问提交人六岁的儿子他父亲的下落。警察最终发现提交人和他的其他子女驾车外出,于是警察拦截了车辆,强行将提交人从车里带走,逮捕了他,将他拘留在墨尔本的Maribyrnong拘留中心。

2.72015年4月13日,提交人修改了他关于吊销签证的实质性上诉申请。修改后的上诉除了重申他最初上诉申请中的理由之外,还对拘留他的合法性提出质疑。他还寻求人身保护令,要求解除对他的移民拘留。2015年12月8日,提交人提出中间请求,要求下令解除对他的移民拘留。2015年12月18日,根据联邦行政法院的命令,提交人关于家庭拘留的中间请求被驳回。

2.82016年7月13日,联邦行政法院审查了部长吊销提交人签证的决定,认定在可能性的权衡下,提交人没有证明他在1981年获得了澳大利亚公民身份,也不符合英联邦人的定义,因此是一名外国人,可以适用《移民法》第502条。在这种情况下,提交人没有任何投票权,而是享有给予某些永久居民的立法特权。因此,该法院认为提交人的权利没有受到侵犯。提交人就这一决定向澳大利亚联邦合议庭提出上诉。2016年8月18日,他被转移到圣诞岛。

2.92016年12月14日,联邦法院合议庭驳回了提交人的上诉,维持联邦行政法院的裁决。提交人申请就联邦法院合议庭的裁决向澳大利亚高等法院提出特许上诉。澳大利亚高等法院于2017年5月11日驳回了特许上诉请求,理由是上诉没有合理的成功可能性,因为提交人提出的理由违反了有约束力的先例。

2.10提交人提及委员会的判例,委员会在判例中申明,“运输”,即强行将一个人从一个国家转移到另一个国家,构成了对自由和安全权的侵犯,对他的逮捕、拘留和驱逐累积起来构成了“单一事项”,类似于从一个国家绑架并驱逐到另一个国家。

2.11提交人还提到委员会在Tillman诉澳大利亚案中的决定,在该决定中,对一个已经服满刑事刑期的人的进一步拘留构成《公约》第九条意义上的任意拘留。提交人指出,委员会在其意见中确认,为了避免拘留具有任意性,拘留必须证明在案件的所有情况下都是合理和必要的,并且与实现缔约国的合法目的相称。如果这些合法目的可以通过侵害性较小的手段实现,那么这种拘留将被视为任意拘留。提交人声称,他“完全改过的可能性很高”,而且他“目前被评估为重新犯罪的风险极小”。提交人还声称,他在狱中完成了所有要求的改过自新课程。

2.12关于拘留是否相称,为了实现保护公众的合法目的,提交人认为,有许多不那么繁重的选择,包括持续的基于社区的心理社会支持,可供缔约国在实现其目标时使用。

2.13提交人提及委员会在A.诉澳大利亚案和其他意见中的判例,其中确认《移民法》第189条规定和允许的长期和无限期拘留构成任意拘留。提交人还援引了欧洲人权法院的判例,其中欧洲法院确认了追溯性防范性拘留不符合《欧洲人权公约》关于任意拘留的第7(1)条的原则。

2.14提交人声称,他被驱逐的附带影响是,他与居住在澳大利亚的母亲、妻子和子女分离,并与他长期的社会和职业网络断开了联系。他还声称,这实际上切断了他与他从小长大的国家的联系。

2.15提交人重申,他在1981年参军时参加了入籍仪式,他认为自己是澳大利亚公民。然而,即使这一点不被接受,他也曾作为永久居民合法居住在缔约国,在这种情况下,吊销他的签证并对他实施逮捕、拘留和驱逐的决定侵犯了他根据《公约》第十二条享有的自由迁徙和选择住所的权利。

2.16提交人指出,就《公约》第十二条第四款而言,他认为缔约国是其“本国”,因为无论他的正式公民身份是否被缔约国接受,委员会的判例已经确定,迁徙自由和选择居住地的权利延伸到永久居住在一个国家的人,即使他们仍然是另一个国家的国民。提交人对委员会在Stewart诉加拿大案中的意见进行了区分,声称他已经通过申请公民身份证明了他打算永久居住在缔约国,即使证书从未签发。

2.17提交人声称,除了提出的其他问题之外,缔约国代表采取行动时本应使他的儿子受到保护,在这方面,他提到一名医生的报告,该报告称,提交人的孩子和他的母亲开始受到提交人离开的影响。

申诉

3.1提交人声称他根据《公约》第九条第一款享有的人身自由和安全权以及免遭任意逮捕和拘留的权利遭到了侵犯。

3.2提交人声称,他根据《公约》第十二条第一款和第四款享有的权利受到侵犯,因为吊销他的签证不合理、不必要,也不符合缔约国保护公众的合法目的,不符合第十二条第三款规定的允许对根据《公约》第十二条第一款和第四款享有迁徙自由和选择在“本国”居住的权利进行限制的要求。

3.3提交人声称缔约国侵犯了他根据第十四条第七款享有的权利,因为吊销他的签证以及随后的逮捕、拘留和驱逐相当于他因犯罪再次受到惩罚。提交人在提到品格测试时指出,缔约国利用《移民法》规定的“民事诉讼”,随后就同一罪行对他追加了刑期,他声称这相当于一罪二审,违反了《公约》第十五条。

3.4因此,提交人声称,基于他以前的定罪,吊销他的签证和随后的逮捕、拘留和驱逐等于施加了比犯下刑事罪时适用的更重的惩罚,因此是一种追溯性惩罚,违反了《公约》第十五条。

3.5提交人声称,缔约国在提交人被捕并被关押在移民拘留所时未能充分保护他的儿子免受警察行动的伤害,侵犯了他根据《公约》第二十四条第一款享有的权利。他还声称,他的女儿属于医学上的弱势群体。提交人声称,缔约国将他与两个如此脆弱的儿童分开,违反了其采取保护儿童所需的特别措施的义务。他还指出,对他的驱逐继续对留在缔约国的母亲造成巨大痛苦,因此,他母亲的权利也受到了同样的侵犯。

3.6提交人声称,在缔约国期间,他的名字出现在选民名册上,因此他在许多选举中投票,甚至竞选公职,但他的投票权因被驱逐出境而被剥夺。因此,提交人声称,他根据《公约》第二十五条第一款享有的投票权受到了侵犯。

缔约国关于可否受理和实质问题的意见

4.12018年8月23日,缔约国提供了关于提交人来文可否受理和实质问题的意见。

4.2缔约国基于以下理由质疑提交人申诉的可受理性:(a)关于《公约》第十四条,提交人的申诉证据不足;(b)除了因证据不足而不可受理之外,提交人根据《公约》第十四条第七款、第十五条第一款和第二十四条第一款(最后一项涉及提交人的母亲)提出的申诉不符合《公约》的规定,因此,根据《任择议定书》第三条和委员会议事规则第96条(d)款,基于属事理由,应认定不可受理;(c)提交人根据《公约》第二十四条第一款提出的申诉完全不可受理,因为提交人没有权力代表其子女提出申诉,没有就其权力或地位提出任何意见,因此根据委员会的判例,基于属人理由,应予以驳回。

4.3关于《公约》第十四条,缔约国认为,提交人没有明确说明该条的哪些具体规定据称在他的刑事诉讼中被违反,只有这些刑事诉讼可以适用《公约》第十四条。

4.4此外,提交人根据《公约》第十四条提出的关于其移民身份的申诉不属于《公约》的范围,基于属事理由应予以驳回。缔约国指出,吊销签证是基于行政程序。缔约国还注意到委员会关于在法庭和裁判所前一律平等和获得公正审判的权利的第32号一般性意见(2007年),其中委员会澄清说,一项诉讼“不适用于引渡、驱逐和递解出境程序”。

4.5关于《公约》第九条第一款,并参照《公约》的准备工作资料,缔约国称,没有任何规则规定拘留特定一段时间就一定被视为任意拘留:决定性因素是拘留的理由是否合理。因此,对个人的拘留是否是任意的,应根据拘留的目的和个人的情况逐案确定。

4.6关于对提交人的移民拘留,缔约国称,对提交人的拘留是在根据《移民法》第501(2)条以品格为由合法吊销其签证后实施的,该条责成移民官员拘留没有有效签证的人。该法第196条规定,非法非公民应被拘留,直至根据第198条或第199条“将其驱逐出澳大利亚”。因此,可以认定对提交人的移民拘留是合法的,符合国内法。缔约国指出,委员会已经认定,拘留没有有效签证的非公民,包括寻求庇护者,这种做法本身不是任意的,缔约国认为,评估任意性以证明拘留没有违反《公约》第九条第一款时必须考虑其移民法的基本原理。

4.7在提交人的案件中,拘留对于确保在合理可行的情况下尽快执行遣返是必要的。缔约国指出,这种做法符合主权原则这项国际法基本原则,其中包括国家有权控制非公民入境和在其境内逗留。与提交人的说法相反,移民拘留不同于监禁,因为被移民拘留的人不在监狱里,不被视为囚犯,也不是出于惩罚原因而被拘留,而是被行政拘留。

4.8提交人被拘留是因为他没有通过《移民法》第501条规定的品格测试,因为他有重大犯罪记录。他有机会代表自己进行陈述,当认定其陈述不足以消除关切时,他被拘留是可预见的结果。

4.9缔约国澄清说,在部长决定吊销他的签证之前,提交人收到了一份打算考虑吊销通知,使他能够提供证据说明为什么他的签证不应该被吊销。从部长的理由陈述中可以看出,部长考虑了提交人提出的所有因素,但决定,“[提交人]再次犯罪的风险尽管很低,但仍然存在”,如果提交人再次犯罪,将对澳大利亚社会弱势成员造成身心伤害,因此有理由吊销签证。其结果是提交人不再拥有有效签证,因此留在缔约国境内不再合法。因此,他被行政拘留,等待遣返。经司法审查,澳大利亚联邦法院和澳大利亚联邦法院合议庭维持了这一决定。向高等法院提出的特许上诉被驳回。因此,对提交人的拘留在所有情况下都是合理和必要的,与合法目的相称。

4.10缔约国指出,提交人的拘留时间延长只是为了解决影响其遣返的国内诉讼程序所需的时间。2017年12月10日,在用尽了与吊销签证有关的所有国内补救办法后,他被驱逐出澳大利亚。虽然在某些情况下可以在移民拘留中心以外的地方拘留,但由于对社区构成的风险,这种做法被认为是不适当的。

4.11关于《公约》范围内的拘留情况,《公约》第十二条涉及更广泛地迁徙自由;《公约》第十三条明确承认一国拥有管理外国人入境和将其驱逐出境的主权。《公约》第九条第一款的具体背景和相关规定表明,无意将“流放”解读为文本的一部分。因此,显然无意将驱逐或运送非国民的问题列入其中。

4.12缔约国认为,即使采纳了提交人对《公约》第九条的广义解释(缔约国对此提出质疑),提交人的被驱逐也不是任意的。驱逐是合法的;符合《公约》的规定、目的和目标;在当时的情况下是合理的。缔约国将Burgos案与提交人的案件区分开来,前者涉及Burgos先生从阿根廷被非法秘密绑架并驱逐到乌拉圭,在乌拉圭他被单独禁闭并遭受酷刑,后者涉及根据国内法和国际义务驱逐非法非公民的行政程序。

4.13关于提交人根据《公约》第十二条提出的申诉,缔约国援引了委员会关于迁徙自由的第27号一般性意见(1999年),其中指出,“一个外侨是否‘合法’处于某一国家领土内是一个由国内法规定的问题,国内外可对外侨进入国境施加限制,条件是应遵守该国的国际义务”。缔约国称,它不接受联邦巡回法院确认的提交人是澳大利亚公民的说法。关于提交人根据第十二条提出的申诉,缔约国指出,在Stewart诉加拿大案、Canepa诉加拿大案和Madafferi诉澳大利亚案中,委员会认为,根据一国移民法入境该国的人,如果他没有获得该国国籍并继续保留其原籍国的国籍,就不能将该国视为自己的国家。缔约国还注意到委员会的结论,即基于犯罪记录拒绝给予国籍并不是获得公民身份的不合理障碍。

4.14缔约国指出,委员会对这一规定作了更广泛的解释,特别是在Nystrom诉澳大利亚案中,委员会认为,就《公约》第十二条第四款而言,一个国家可以是一个人的“本国”,条件是他或她不是该国的国民,但可以与该国建立“密切和持久的联系”。委员会认为,需要考虑的相关因素包括长期居住、密切的家庭关系以及与任何其他国家没有联系。然而,在反对意见中,两名委员会成员不同意这种过于宽泛的方法,他们指出,只有在有限和例外的情况下,外国人才能与一个国家建立密切和持久的联系,以至于可以为了《公约》第十二条第四款的目的认为该国是该人的本国。

4.15缔约国对《公约》第十二条第四款所指“本国”的解释符合《公约》第十三条,该条明确考虑驱逐外国人,即非国民。《公约》第十三条承认一国拥有管理外国人入境和被驱逐出境以及决定谁可以留在其境内的主权,并规定了行使主权时必须遵守的最低程序标准。

4.16提交人声称澳大利亚法院已经承认他“事实上已经申请了澳大利亚公民身份,但身份证书没有签发”,以此来支持他的公民身份主张。然而,澳大利亚联邦法院认为,“没有证据表明移民部存有提交人申请澳大利亚国籍的任何记录”。“尽管提交人可能填写了一份表格,但公民身份申请从未取得进展,因为提交人没有入伍”。此外,澳大利亚联邦法院认为,在提交人1981年参加的仪式上,不可能授予公民身份,因为授予公民身份超出了主持仪式的国防官员的权力范围。提交人没有提出证据来支持他的声称,即他获得了公民身份或他成功地成为了澳大利亚公民。

4.17此外,缔约国将提交人的情况与Nystrom案相关的情况区分开来,因为他的联系并不仅仅将他与澳大利亚联系在一起,也就是说,他在其他地方有家人(一个兄弟在加拿大),尽管他声称他与苏格兰没有其他联系,但这并没有得到证实。此外,与Nystrom案的情况相反,提交人讲联合王国的语言。此外,没有任何物质文化障碍会影响提交人在苏格兰重新融入社会或在那里找到工作或住房的能力。缔约国指出,有能力旅行的家庭成员可以到联合王国看望他。

4.18缔约国认为,提交人根据《公约》第十四条和第十四条第七款提出的指控没有依据,因为吊销签证和驱逐提交人的决定纯粹是行政决定,因此不触发第十四条的适用,提交人随后被拘留和驱逐也不构成刑事处罚。

4.19关于《公约》第十四条第七款,它仅适用于刑事犯罪,而非《公约》第十四条所指刑事处罚之外的纪律措施。在J.G.诉新西兰案中,委员会认为驱逐提交人的决定是行政性的,而不是对以前毒品罪的双重处罚。

4.20在Uner诉荷兰案中,欧洲人权法院裁定,“刑事定罪后在行政诉讼中下令驱逐不构成双重处罚,无论是为了第七议定书第4条的目的,还是从该术语的人道意义上来说”。提交人的移民拘留期和随后的驱逐并不构成刑事处罚,也不构成《公约》第十四条第七款意义上的双重处罚。

4.21关于《公约》第十五条第一款禁止追溯的申诉,缔约国称,这一条款仅限于对刑事犯罪施加刑事责任或惩罚的法律。相比之下,在本案中没有追溯适用立法,因为基于品格原因吊销签证的规定是1999年实施的,所有人都可以使用。

4.22关于《公约》第二十四条第一款,缔约国认为,该条本身并没有规定儿童的权利,而是保证受每个缔约国管辖的所有儿童都得到保护。澳大利亚制定了广泛的立法措施和其他措施,确保儿童受到家庭、广大社会和国家的保护。提交人没有提供任何证据证明澳大利亚的制度未能向未成年人提供必要的保护措施。

4.23关于《公约》第二十五条(丑)项下的投票权,缔约国提出,这些条款仅适用于公民。然而,有一个例外,即在1984年1月25日截止日期之前登记的某些永久居民被给予了在联邦选举和公民投票中投票的权利,而提交人的情况属于这种例外情况。《公约》第二十五条(丑)项不要求缔约国向永久居民提供投票权,也不阻止缔约国取消外国人在澳大利亚永久居住的权利,也不要求缔约国保留已不再是永久居民的人之前根据国内法规定获得的投票权。因此,提交人根据《公约》第二十五条(丑)项提出的申诉没有依据。

提交人对缔约国关于可否受理和实质问题的意见的回应

5.1在2019年7月15日的回应中,提交人指出,部长吊销其签证的决定“显然是任意的”,并且“相当于司法不公”。他具体指出,部长没有充分重视进一步犯罪的“低风险”评估、他与澳大利亚的长期联系、提交人子女的“最大利益”以及吊销签证的影响及其对提交人健康和福祉的后果。提交人称,任何理智的决策者都会认定,这些考虑足以防止签证被吊销。

5.2关于最初的吊销签证决定是司法不公的评估得到了2019年5月1日的一份最近的精神健康报告的支持。最相关的是从该报告中得出的结论,即没有发现“防护问题”或“没有伤害他人的风险”。然而,报告确实阐述了提交人面临的精神健康挑战,他在移民拘留中心的逗留和被驱逐加剧了这种挑战。如果允许他返回澳大利亚,这些挑战将会减轻。该报告详细说明了提交人在拘留中心遭受的虐待,以及他目前情绪低落和焦虑的情况,据报告,表现出了一些抑郁症生物学特征。

缔约国关于可否受理和实质问题的补充意见

6.2019年11月11日,缔约国对提交人的评论作出回应,指出提交人没有指出部长的决定有任何违规之处,该决定接受了五次单独的司法审查。缔约国提及部长的理由陈述,其中考虑到了提出的所有因素,但认定这些因素的重要性不足以超过对公众造成伤害的风险。关于医生的报告,缔约国指出,由于该报告不是为评估再次犯罪而编写的,而是为了评估抑郁症,因此该报告的相关性有限。然而,缔约国提出,心理报告是部长考虑的证据的一部分。

委员会需处理的问题和议事情况

审议可否受理

7.1在审议来文所载的任何请求之前,委员会必须根据其议事规则第97条,决定来文是否符合《任择议定书》规定的受理条件。

7.2根据《任择议定书》第五条第二款(子)项的要求,委员会已确定同一事项不在另一国际调查或解决程序审查之中。

7.3委员会注意到提交人称,他已经用尽所有可用的有效国内补救办法。在缔约国未就此提出任何异议的情况下,委员会认为《任择议定书》第五条第二款(丑)项并不妨碍委员会审议来文。

7.4委员会注意到,缔约国称,提交人根据《公约》第十四条第七款提出的申诉没有得到充分证实,该申诉将他的逮捕、拘留和驱逐描述为对已服刑定罪的再次处罚。委员会还注意到,提交人声称,缔约国的行动是对他已经服刑的罪行的刑事处罚,由于没有提起新的诉讼,没有理由再次实施刑事处罚。因此,他声称,他在遣返程序中受到的待遇属于刑事性质,属于《公约》中防止一罪二审和追溯性处罚的第十四条和第十五条的情况并违反了这两条。委员会还注意到缔约国的论点,即驱逐程序纯粹是行政性的,尽管《移民法》规定的品格测试考虑到了过去的定罪,但目的不是再次惩罚个人,而是确保公共安全。委员会回顾其判例,其中确认《公约》第十四条适用于刑事事项,而不适用于与遣返和驱逐有关的诉讼,刑事定罪后的行政诉讼不等同于《公约》第十四条第七款所指的双重处罚。因此,委员会得出结论认为,根据《任择议定书》第三条,提交人根据第十四条和第十五条提出的申诉因属事理由不可受理。

7.5委员会注意到,缔约国对提交人根据第十四条提出的申诉的可受理性提出质疑,理由是申诉缺乏证据,违反了《任择议定书》第二条和议事规则第96条(b)项,因为他没有明确说明除第七款之外,违反了第十四条的哪些条款(见第7.4段),他也没有指出刑事诉讼程序中的任何违规之处,也就是说,可适用第十四条的违规之处。因此,委员会根据《任择议定书》第二条认定,提交人根据《公约》第十四条提出的其余申诉因证据不足而不可受理。

7.6委员会注意到,缔约国称,基于属人理由,所有涉及提交人家庭成员的申诉都应被认定为不可受理,因为没有代表提交人家庭的任何其他成员提出申诉,他们也没有作为受害者加入提交人的来文。因此,缔约国认为,提交人没有资格声称任何其他个人的权利受到了侵犯,因为这违反了《任择议定书》第一条和第二条的要求。委员会注意到,提交人的来文中没有任何内容表明来文是代表家庭其他成员提交的,也没有表明任何其他人应被列为受害者。此外,提交人既没有提供任何证据证明另一个人同意授权提交人在向委员会提出的申诉中代表该人行事,也没有在他的来文中提出任何论点,声称他被指示这样做,或认为在这方面得到了同意的暗示。因此,委员会认为,根据委员会议事规则第91条和《任择议定书》第二条,提交人根据《公约》第二十四条提出的关于其子女和母亲的申诉因属人理由不可受理。

7.7委员会注意到,提交人根据《公约》第二十五条声称,他有权在缔约国投票,他在选民名册上的登记证明了这一点,因此,缔约国拘留和驱逐他,阻止他行使这一权利,侵犯了这一权利。另一方面,缔约国声称,事实上提交人曾受益于在特定时间授予特定永久居民群体的立法特权。因此,缔约国指出,作为非公民,他不能被剥夺他实际上并不拥有的权利。然而,在没有进一步解释的情况下,委员会认为提交人没有为受理目的充分证实这些申诉,因此根据《任择议定书》第二条认定这些申诉不可受理。

7.8委员会认为,提交人的其余申诉提出了《公约》第九条和第十二条下的问题,就可否受理而言证据充足,并着手审查实质问题。

审议实质问题

8.1委员会根据《任择议定书》第五条第一款,结合各当事方提交的所有资料审议了本来文。

8.2关于提交人根据《公约》第十二条提出的申诉,委员会首先注意到提交人称,作为武装部队入伍程序的一部分,他在1981年参加了澳大利亚入籍仪式,他在缔约国投票并参加了选举,他是作为英联邦成员的缔约国的公民。委员会还注意到缔约国的论点,即授予公民身份的权力并未赋予武装部队的征兵人员,赋予提交人投票权是因为给予某一特定类别的先前被赋予选举权的永久居民的立法特权,提交人从未申请过公民身份。缔约国还指出,其司法当局仔细考虑了所有这些因素并得出结论认为,这些因素单独或一起都不能赋予提交人公民身份权利。

8.3委员会注意到,对受《公约》第十二条第一款和第二款保护的迁徙自由和选择居住地的权利的限制是相对于提交人作为公民或是作为合法居留的外国人的身份而言的,而《公约》第十二条第四款中提到的权利适用于与缔约国的关系可被视为“其本国”的个人。委员会还注意到,提交人的公民身份问题是在所有可用的国内法院进行了审理,提交人没有提出程序违规问题。因此,委员会认为没有必要干涉缔约国关于提交人事实上不是其公民的认定。

8.4委员会回顾了其判例,该判例涉及根据移民法的条件进入某一国家的人,在没有获得该国国籍并继续保留其原籍国国籍的情况下,是否可以将该国视为其本国的问题。在移民国对新移民获得国籍设置不合理障碍的情况下,答案可能是肯定的;然而,在本案中,当移民国为获得其国籍提供便利,而移民由于选择或因实施将使其丧失获得国籍资格的行为而拒绝这样做时,移民国并不能成为《公约》第十二条第四款意义上的“其本国”。在这方面应当指出,虽然在起草《公约》第十二条第四款时拒绝使用“国籍国”一词,但提到永久居住国的建议也遭到了拒绝。委员会还回顾其在Nystrom案和Warsame案中的判例,在该判例中,在缔约国没有施加不合理障碍的情况下,未能获得公民身份并不决定第十二条第四款的适用,因为个别和非常具体的情况使这种解释过于局限。

8.5委员会认为,虽然提交人提出他主观上认为缔约国是其本国,但没有任何证据表明缔约国对提交人身份的审查存在缺陷,包括审查他永久留在缔约国的意图、他未能申请公民身份和放弃出生国籍、他与缔约国的社会联系(包括参与公共生活)、在苏格兰没有亲人以及对他家庭生活的影响,这些都由国内决策者进行了适当的权衡。

8.6委员会没有发现本案中出现的任何情况足以触发《公约》第十二条第四款所指的上述例外情况。在这种情况下,委员会的结论是,提交人不能声称澳大利亚是第十二条第四款意义上的“其本国”,因此不能得出结论认为提交人根据《公约》第12条享有的权利受到了侵犯。

8.7考虑到上述情况,委员会转而审议提交人的一下申诉,即他一直合法留在缔约国领土上,由于他的实际或暗示的公民身份,对他的逮捕、拘留和驱逐本身就是任意的,因此违反了《公约》第九条。委员会没有发现任何可以质疑缔约国关于提交人不是澳大利亚公民的决定的依据,因此着手审议吊销签证决定中考虑的因素,并审议该决定是否是任意作出的以及他随后被逮捕和拘留是否是任意的。

8.8委员会注意到,2014年10月26日,提交人被告知吊销签证的决定,2014年10月29日,他被移民当局告知,他必须在2014年10月31日之前到他们的办公室报到,届时他将被拘留等待遣返。他还被告知,如果他未能在截止日期前报到,当局将寻求警方的协助,以找到并拘留他。委员会还注意到,提交人对该决定提出了质疑申请,包括申请停止拘留他的禁令。委员会还注意到,根据部长的申请,禁令被推翻,此后提交人被逮捕和拘留。

8.9委员会注意到,提交人声称,不管他的移民身份如何,基于国内立法对他实施的长期和期限不定的拘留就其本质而言是任意的,违反了《公约》。委员会还注意到缔约国的意见,即出于驱逐的目的,拘留是正当的,考虑到他对社区构成的风险,拘留是合理的,因此,鉴于对社区的风险,在移民拘留中心以外的拘留被认为是不适当的。缔约国称,拘留只持续到提交人用尽了所有可有效质疑驱逐决定的补救办法,此后他是在可行范围内被尽快驱逐的。

8.10委员会回顾,《公约》第九条第一款承认人人有权享有人身自由和安全,任何人不得被任意逮捕或拘留。然而,在该条中,委员会确实规定了在法律规定了这方面的理由和程序的情况下以拘留方式对这一权利的某些可允许的限制。这种限制确实是允许的,而且在大多数国家都存在,被纳入以移民控制或其他与个人被认为对自己或社会有害的情况有关的目的为目标的法律。委员会回顾其判例,其中指出人身自由权并不是绝对的。虽然《公约》第九条承认有时候剥夺自由是合理的,例如,在执行刑法过程中;逮捕或拘留可能是依国内法授权的,但仍可能属于任意。“任意”这一概念不能和“违法”划等号,必须给予更广泛的解释,使其包括不适当、不正当、缺乏可预见性和适当法律程序,以及合理性、必要性和程度等要素。法律规定的理由和程序不得损害人身自由权,拘留制度也不得有相当于刑罚而没有适当保护的规定,从而回避刑事司法制度的限制。

8.11委员会回顾其判例,委员会在其中确认移民控制程序中实行的拘留本身不属于任意拘留,但拘留必须是根据有关情况决定的合理、必要、适当的拘留,并随着时间的延续进行重新评估。缔约国还应防止和处理在执法过程中不合理使用武力的问题。关于为保护社区而在刑满后继续拘留或“防范性拘留”的问题,虽然这种情况不能直接适用于提交人的案件,但在涉及保护公众的情况下,可能类似于驱逐前的拘留,委员会在以前的意见中确认,这种拘留必须有令人信服的理由,即所犯罪行的严重性和被监禁者再犯同样罪行的可能性。此外,缔约国应只作为最后手段采用这种监禁,并且必须由一个独立机构进行定期审查以确定是否有必要继续监禁。缔约国在评估个人未来构成的危险时必须谨慎并提供适当保障。如果一名犯人已服满判决时定的刑期,第九条和第十五条禁止追溯性延长刑期,缔约国不得在民事拘留的名义下实行相当于刑事监禁的拘留,从而绕过这些禁令。为了避免任意性,在这种情况下,缔约国必须证明,在用尽所有国内补救办法之前,除了逮捕并在所有国内补救办法用尽之前实施期限不定的拘留之外,不可能通过任何其他侵扰性较低的手段实现保护公众的合法目的。

8.12关于提交人声称吊销其签证的决定是任意作出的,委员会指出,在缔约国,签证申请是根据“公共利益”的法定标准来评判的。在这种评估中,个人过去的犯罪和一般行为都可以被认为是缺乏“良好品格”的证据。移民和多元文化事务部的行政上诉法庭可以审查任何签证决定。移民部长保留独立的法定权力,可以驳回法庭的裁决。当部长“有理由怀疑该人没有通过品格测试”时,他可以采取这种行动,依据的客观标准是该人的“重大犯罪记录”,法律将其定义为任何“12个月或以上的监禁”。然而,部长的酌处权使得个人可以提交其良好品行的证据,从而使部长能够决定是否基于公共利益干预签证决定。委员会还注意到,提交人要求进行司法审查的实质性申请由联邦行政法院审理,他向法院提交了详细的陈述,他没有质疑程序的公正性。鉴于上述情况,委员会得出结论认为,向其提交的事实并不表明吊销签证是任意的,因为提交人向部长提交的所有个别因素都得到了全面评估,部长作出决定认为,考虑到再次犯罪的风险,拘留是必要的和相称的,尽管当局承认再次犯罪的风险从统计数字来看极小,但从弱势受害者可能收到的伤害来看,这种风险被认为过大,这一决定接受了司法审查。因此,由此导致的逮捕和拘留初步来看是为了达到行政驱逐的合法目的,因此本身不是任意的。委员会认为,就吊销签证和驱逐的决定而言,它收到的资料没有显示出违反《公约》第九条的情况。

8.13关于提交人就其被捕方式提出的申诉,委员会没有收到任何关于提交人与移民当局之间互动的详细资料,只是注意到,2014年10月30日单方面禁令申请的诉状称,提交人被告知,如果他未能在原定的截止日期2014年10月31日自愿出庭,将会被警方逮捕。委员会注意到,他没有自愿出庭,而是在针对签证决定的实质性上诉尚未由联邦行政法院审理时,申请了暂停逮捕和拘留的禁令。委员会还注意到,他并没有因此在有关日期被捕,而是有机会让他的单方面禁令申请得到审理,并提交进一步的诉状,以回应部长关于暂停拘留禁令的驳回签证决定的申请,该禁令虽然最初获得批准,但后来被取消了。他于2014年11月23日被捕。因此,委员会得出结论认为,考虑到他在禁令申请结束后没有按照指示到当局报到,委员会没有足够的资料,无法得出结论认为对他的逮捕是任意的。因此,委员会不认为逮捕提交人构成违反第九条。

8.14关于对提交人的拘留,委员会指出,任何一方都没有向委员会提供具体关于审查拘留提交人的必要性的详细资料,委员会只收到某些诉讼的记录。考虑到委员会没有2015年12月18日关于驳回提交人关于家庭拘留的中间请求的命令的诉讼记录,委员会注意到该命令是经同意作出的,提交人没有提出限制拘留的进一步申请,委员会认为,没有足够的资料表明实施拘留的决定是任意作出的。

8.15关于提交人声称对他的拘留具有期限不定和不必要的延长性质,委员会注意到,虽然提交人的拘留一开始就没有确定的期限,但委员会收到的资料表明,联邦行政法院于2014年10月30日和31日、2014年11月21日、2015年12月18日和2016年7月13日审议了该拘留,联邦法院合议庭也于2016年12月14日审议了该拘留。因此,提交人有机会在几个司法场合对其拘留提出质疑,对提交人及其家人的后果与他被认为对社区构成的风险进行了适当的权衡。委员会还注意到缔约国的结论,即考虑到再次犯罪的风险,拘留是必要和相称的,尽管当局承认再次犯罪的风险在统计数字上极小,但从弱势受害者可能受到的伤害来看,这种风险被认为过大。因此,委员会认为,实施拘留的明确目的是驱逐,符合国内法,国内补救办法一经用尽(没有不当拖延),就实施了驱逐。因此,委员会得出结论认为,所陈述的事实并没有证明对提交人的拘留侵犯了他根据《公约》第九条享有的权利。

9.委员会依《任择议定书》第五条第四款行事,认为现有资料没有显示缔约国违反《公约》第九条或第十二条。

Annex I

Joint opinion of Committee members Duncan Laki Muhumuza , Hernán Quezada Cabrera and José Manuel Santos Pais (dissenting)

1.We regret not being able to concur with the majority of the Committee in the present communication. In our view, there is a violation by the State party of the author’s rights under article 9 of the Covenant.

2.The author, born in Scotland in 1960, moved with his family to Australia at age 5 and lived there until his removal to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in December 2017 (paras. 1.1 and 2.1).

3.On 11 November 2011, the Supreme Court of Tasmania convicted the author of maintaining sexual relations with a person under 17 years of age and sentenced him to four years of imprisonment. The facts, however, date back to 1996, when the author was 36 years of age and commenced a relationship with one of his employees, then 12 years of age, which lasted for five years. The author served part of his sentence and was released on parole on 7 May 2014 (para. 2.2).

4.On 27 October 2014, the Minister for Immigration decided to cancel the author’s Transitional (Permanent) Visa, based on his having failed the “character test”. The author was informed by the immigration authorities that he must report to their offices; otherwise, authorities would seek the assistance of the police in locating and detaining him (para. 2.3).

5.He made an application for an injunction to prevent the State party from placing him in immigration detention while his citizenship status was being determined. The Federal Administrative Court, on 31 October 2014, granted the author’s injunction, considering the risk of flight to be slight. The Court, however, also granted leave to the State party to appeal and, on 21 November 2014, granted the Minister’s application to set aside the author’s injunction (para. 2.4).

6.Meanwhile,on 13 November 2014, the author filed another application, in which he requested a judicial review of the Minister’s decision to cancel his residence visa (para. 2.5). On 23 November 2014 while its consideration was pending, the author was forcibly removed from his car by four police officers, taken into custody and detained at the Maribyrnong Detention Centre in Melbourne (para. 2.6). He had never absconded, however, and had simply been exercising his right to guarantee his liberty through judicial means.

7.On 18 August 2016, he was transferred to Christmas Island (para. 2.8) and detained there until his removal to the United Kingdom. He was administratively detained for more than three years, pending such removal.

8.Domestic courts dealt mainly with the issue of whether the author had acquired Australian citizenship which prevented him from being deported (paras. 2.5–2.9). His applications to be released from immigration detention were always dismissed and the need for the extended period of his detention was not reassessed, the courts not having found any violation of the author’s rights, as regards his visa cancellation.

9.The question therefore remains whether, to avoid arbitrariness, the immigration detention, albeit lawful, was necessary, reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances; and whether there were sufficient reasons to consider that the author had failed the character test, which led to his visa’s being cancelled.

10.The author claims, in this regard, that his “prognosis for full rehabilitation is very good” and that he “is currently assessed as being at minimal risk of reoffending”, joining in support a report by a psychologist. He had completed all required rehabilitation courses during his time in prison (para. 2.11) and, indeed, he was released on parole, which attests to his claims.

11.As for the proportionality of the detention, to achieve the legitimate aim of protecting the public, the author argues that there were many less onerous options available to the State party, including ongoing community-based psychosocial support (para. 2.12), an argument that the State party simply rebuts by saying the detention was appropriate owing to the risk to the community (para. 4.10), which was minimal, however.

12.The author claims that his deportation had the collateral effect of separating him from his mother, wife and children, all of whom reside in Australia, and disconnected him from his long-standing social and professional networks, severing his connection to the country in which he had grown up (paras. 2.14 and 2.17). The Minister for Immigration acknowledges all of these impacts.

13.Domestic courts, however, do not seem to have addressed these decisive questions, critical to an assessment of the arbitrariness of the author’s prolonged and indefinite detention, which ultimately extended for more than three years.

14.We dispute the State party’s claim that detention was necessary to ensure removal and “that this approach is consistent with the fundamental principle of sovereignty in international law, which includes the right of a State to control the entry and stay of non-citizens in its territory”, as well as the State party’s claim that “immigration detention is distinct from imprisonment, as persons in immigration detention are not in prison, are not considered to be prisoners and are not held for punitive reasons and rather, they are detained administratively” (para 4.7). In fact, the author was doubtlessly deprived of his liberty and prevented from leaving the detention premises during the whole of his “immigration detention”, which seriously impacted his mental health (para. 5.2).

15.Unlike the State party and the majority of the Committee (para 8.13), we consider, based on the very same reasons expressed in the Views (para 8.11), that the author’s detention was neither necessary nor reasonable or proportionate, particularly in view of the manner in which it was enforced, and was therefore arbitrary. Moreover, such detention was not reassessed as it extended in time, contrary to the reasoning adopted by the majority (para. 8.15).

16.We dispute the legitimacy of the aim of the author’s removal. The Statement of Reasons by the Minister (who belongs to the Liberal-National Coalition, responsible for implementing Operation Sovereign Borders) (para 4.9) does not justify, in our view, the ultimate visa cancellation decision.

17.The Minister agreed with the sentencing judge’s decision and considered the author’s “sexual offending as very serious” and “repugnant”. He also acknowledged, however, the author’s “addictions and psychological problems” at the time of the offence, his willingness to undergo treatment and to participate in rehabilitation programmes for sex offenders and persons with addictive behaviours, positive work reports regarding his general behaviour in prison and opportunities taken advantage of by the author to undergo psychological counselling so as to reduce the risk of reoffending and to continue such treatment following his release from prison. He also noted good progress achieved in the re-forming of bonds between the author, his partner and their children; the strong ongoing support provided by his family, mostly Australian citizens resident in Australia; his expression of remorse and existing support networks, including employment opportunities; and his deep and long sustained ties to Australia. The Minister acknowledged that it was in the best interests of the author’s four children and two step grandsons not to cancel the author’s visa, as this would cause them substantial hardship and deprive them of the opportunity to maintain close and direct personal contact with him. He also recognized the substantial hardship that the author’s family, with whom he maintained a close relationship, would endure as a result of his removal. While noting that the author had no relatives, no contacts and no ties in Scotland and that he would experience significant difficulties in establishing himself owing to his extended absence and to a lack of family support there, the Minister still decided to exercise his discretion to order the removal, concluding that “there remains a risk, albeit even if a low one, that Mr. Cayzer will reoffend”.

18.We cannot therefore endorse the majority’s conclusion (para 8.12), that “all of the individual factors presented to the Minister by the author were comprehensively assessed”. They were referred to but not duly assessed. In fact, by adhering to the sentencing court’s reasoning, the Minister simply disregarded all subsequent efforts made by the author to rehabilitate himself while serving his sentence, attested by his release on parole, as well as the several significant individual and family circumstances that would justify his stay. Rigid security reasons prevailed, notwithstanding the risk of reoffending being minimal, and the issue of the rehabilitation of the author was never seriously considered.

19.We would therefore have concluded for a violationof the author’srights under article 9 of the Covenant, since his immigration detention, for more than three years, was neither necessary nor reasonable or proportionate and was therefore arbitrary. Moreover, the Statement of Reasons by the Minister does not justify, in our view, the author’s visa cancellation.

Annex II

Individual opinion of Committee member Arif Bulkan (dissenting)

1.In the present communication, the majority finds that the State party did not violate the author’s rights under article 12 (4) of the Covenant by deporting him from Australia, even though this meant his effective banishment from the only country he has ever known. In so deciding, the majority does not grapple meaningfully with the Committee’s evolving jurisprudence on article 12, nor does it accord the specific facts of the author’s case anything beyond cursory mention. For this reason, I cannot join in this decision to reject the author’s claims under both articles 12 and 9 of the Covenant.

2.The text of article 12 (4), which provides that “[n]o one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country”, conspicuously eschews the language of citizenship or nationality. The ineluctable conclusion is that this was done to confer protection on a wider category of persons, capturing those who do not qualify under narrow, traditional criteria but nonetheless possess some deep and enduring connection to the country in question. This separate category is distinct from that of aliens, who are dealt with in article 13, reinforcing the conclusion that the categorization of “own country” is a unique one to be interpreted more flexibly.

3.Despite some initial resistance, this broader interpretation is now firmly incorporated in the meaning of article 12 (4). In its general comment 27 (1999) on freedom of movement, the Human Rights Committee affirms that the scope of this provision extends beyond the formal category of nationality. In a passage worth quoting in full, the Committee notes that article 12 (4) is capable of a “broader interpretation that might embrace other categories of long-term residents”, since “[i]t is not limited to nationality in a formal sense, that is, nationality acquired at birth or by conferral; it embraces, at the very least, an individual who, because of his or her special ties to or claims in relation to a given country, cannot be considered to be a mere alien”.

4.This broader approach has been embraced in several recent cases. In Nystrom v. Australia, for example, this Committee found that “there are factors other than nationality which may establish close and enduring connections between a person and a country, connections which may be stronger than those of nationality. The words ‘his own country’ invite consideration of such matters as long standing residence, close personal and family ties and intentions to remain, as well as to the absence of such ties elsewhere”. Applying that test, the Committee concluded that Australia was the author’s own country, notwithstanding his lack of citizenship, since he was taken there from Sweden by his mother when he was only 27 days old and lived there all his life; further, the author had no ties to Sweden, did not speak the language and had always considered Australia to be his home. A similar approach was taken in Warsame v. Canada, where the Committee echoed that there may be “close and enduring connections between a person and a country” which may be stronger than nationality, thereby attracting the protection of article 12 (4). In the case of Warsame, the author had arrived in Canada at age 4, lived there continuously thereafter with his nuclear family and received his entire education in that country. Before that, he had resided in Saudi Arabia and had never lived in Somalia nor could he speak the language properly. Given these factors, which the Committee described as indicating “strong ties” connecting him to Canada, it concluded that the author had established that Canada was the author’s “own country” for the purposes of article 12 (4).

5.Critiques of this approach have never satisfactorily explained the reason for a more restrictive interpretation. In Nystrom, for example, Committee members Gerald L. Neuman and Yuji Iwasawa asserted in a dissenting opinion that the primary purpose of article 12 (4) of the Covenant is to protect the rights of citizens, a frankly unconvincing position given that the language of this specific subparagraph studiously avoids any reference to nationality or citizenship. The obvious flaw in that argument is that if such had been the primary purpose of article 12 (4), it would have been the easiest thing for the drafters to adhere to traditional language which, significantly, is used in other subparagraphs of article 12. However, they chose instead to construct a category of “own country”, thereby clearly signalling the intent to offer protection to persons beyond the narrow category of citizenship.

6.Of considerable relevance is that the provision being interpreted forms part of a human rights treaty, not a deed or some other commercial transaction, which necessarily requires greater flexibility in the quest to discern meaning. Nowhere has this been more commandingly explained than in Minister of Home Affairs v. Fisher, a case involving the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, where the word “child” in section 11 (5) (d) of the Constitution of Bermuda was under consideration. Coincidentally, Fisher was also a case concerned with citizenship and the right of remaining in a country and equally in respect of conferring protection, the term used in the provision under consideration was the wider one of “belonging”, not citizenship or nationality. In seeking to deny the children of a Jamaican woman the right to remain in Bermuda, the Government argued, however, that they were illegitimate (sic) and thus could not qualify as “children” according to the traditional interpretation of the term. Rejecting this crabbed interpretation, the Privy Council traced the origins of the Constitution of Bermuda to both the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, magisterially asserting that such antecedents “call for a generous interpretation avoiding …‘the austerity of tabulated legalism’, suitable to give to individuals the full measure of the fundamental rights and freedoms referred to”. On this note, I should hasten to add that calling for a generous interpretation of human rights provisions is not to privilege a particular ideological bent at all costs; rather, it simply reflects a recognition that where the language of a human rights document permits, the more generous interpretation should be adopted. Nowhere would that be more possible than in this case, where the language of the provision is not one of “citizenship” or “nationality”, but rather of “own country”.

7.Against this background, the approach of the majority in finding no violation of article 12 (4) is a classic example of “tabulated legalism”. The majority focuses on the author’s lack of citizenship (see para. 8.2), an approach that is completely blind to the wider language used in the text. Compounding this misstep, the majority adds (in para. 8.3) that the author’s failure to demonstrate any procedural irregularity in domestic proceedings on the issue of his citizenship precludes any interference with the State party’s determination, which is again oblivious to the fact that the right in question under the Covenant is not confined to citizens but rather encompasses the conferring of protection on a wider class by the use of the term “own country”. At the domestic level, the focus was on citizenship; at the Committee level – where the text of the Covenant applies – the issue is a much broader one and the majority misdirected itself with its preoccupation with citizenship.

8.Applying the factors identified in paragraph 20 of general comment No. 27 (1999) on freedom of movement and reiterated in the Committee’s above-mentioned jurisprudence would produce the opposite conclusion to that reached by the majority. The author was involuntarily taken to Australia at age 5 by his parents and lived there for the rest of his life – some 52 years – before being deported to the United Kingdom in 2017. All of the members of his immediate family live in Australia, namely, his mother, his wife and his children, included among whom are a son who was only 6 years of age at the time and a daughter with a health condition rendering her extremely vulnerable. The author’s intention to remain in Australia has never been in question and was objectively established by his participation in a citizenship ceremony when he attained the age of majority in 1981 as well as by his involvement in the civic affairs of his community and the country at large by voting and even standing for elections. Any one of these factors would be sufficient to indicate the depth of the author’s attachment to Australia; combined, they leave no doubt that the State party qualifies as “his own country”. Indeed, if more than five decades of uninterrupted residence in a country are not sufficient to demonstrate “special ties” thereto, then it is unclear what could qualify.

9.Once it is accepted that for the purposes of article 12 (4) of the Covenant, Australia does qualify as the author’s own country, then it is at the same time difficult to resist the conclusion that the State party arbitrarily deprived him of the right to enter, which necessarily includes the right to remain therein. As pointed out by this Committee, there are “few, if any, circumstances in which deprivation of the right to enter one’s own country could be reasonable”. In this case, the factors that would strictly engage migration rules fall far short of contributing to a compelling case for deporting the author when measured against not only his lifelong attachment to the country, as discussed, but also the specific circumstances of the case. No evidence was presented portraying the author as a recidivist; rather, a psychologist’s report described the prognosis for his full rehabilitation as being very good (see para. 2.11); further, any risk that the author would reoffend was conceded by the Minister to be a low one (para. 4.9). In such circumstances, deportation constituted a nuclear option, completely at odds with the author’s lifelong attachment and profound familial ties to the country.

10.Given my views on the applicability of article 12 (4) of the Covenant, I find that the author’s pre-removal detention, which lasted for more than three years, was arbitrary and thus a violation of article 9 of the Covenant. Whatever the strict legality of the process, it was clearly unreasonable to keep him in such extended detention, especially when he could hardly pose any flight risk (he was, ironically, fighting to remain in the country!) and this incarceration served only to separate him from his family. That having been said, his detention was temporary. However disproportionate and ultimately wrong, it pales beside the drastic decision adopted by the State party, which was to banish the author permanentlyfrom the only home he has ever known. Considering that the author was severed from his closest relatives, including a son who was a minor and daughter who was ill, and sent to a country where he is a complete stranger, the State party’s response was not just disproportionate and arbitrary, it was callous and inhumane. For these reasons, I find that by deporting the author to the United Kingdom – a country from which he was removed at age 5 – the State party violated his rights under article 12 (4) of the Covenant and, through subjecting him to the processes leading thereto, his rights under article 9 as well.