Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
The article 8 of ECHR: Right to private and family life
“Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”
Set out below are the head notes from some of the leading case authorities on Article 8 over the last year. They are mainly taken from cases involving decisions on appeals to the Upper Tier Tribunal. Reading these will give you an insight into the role of Article 8 within the context of the Immigration Rules (and especially the new rules).
(1) The new rules relating to article 8 claims advanced by foreign criminals seeking to resist deportation are a complete code and the exceptional circumstances to be considered in the balancing exercise involve the application of a proportionality test as required by the Strasbourg jurisprudence: MF (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1192 at para 43.
(2) The question being addressed by a decision maker applying the new rules set out at paragraph 398 of HC 395 in considering a claim founded upon article 8 of the ECHR and that being addressed by the judge who carries out what was referred to in MF (Article 8 – New Rules) Nigeria  UKUT 393 (IAC) as the second step in a two-stage process is the same one that, properly executed, will return the same answer.
(3) The new rules speak of “exceptional circumstances” but, as has been made clear by the Court of Appeal in MF (Nigeria), exceptionality is a likely characteristic of a claim that properly succeeds rather than a legal test to be met. In this context, ”exceptional” means circumstances in which deportation would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the individual or their family such that a deportation would not be proportionate”.
(1) The maintenance requirements of E-LTRP.3.1-3.2 stand, although Blake J in R (on the application of MM) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1900 (Admin) said that they could constitute an unjustified and disproportionate interference with the ability of spouses to live together; he suggested that an appropriate figure may be around £13,400, and highlighted the position of young people and low wage earners caught by the higher figure in the rules.
(2) After applying the requirements of the Rules, only if there may be arguably good grounds for granting leave to remain outside them is it necessary for Article 8 purposes to go on to consider whether there are compelling circumstances not sufficiently recognised under them:R (on the application of) Nagre v Secretary of State for the Home Department EWHC 720 (Admin);
(3) The term ”insurmountable obstacles” in provisions such as Section EX.1 are not obstacles which are impossible to surmount: MF (Article 8 – new rules) Nigeria  UKUT 393 (IAC); Izuazu(Article 8 – new rules)
 UKUT 45 (IAC) ; they concern the practical possibilities of relocation. In the absence of such insurmountable obstacles, it is necessary to show other non-standard and particular features demonstrating that removal will be unjustifiably harsh: Nagre.
(4) The Secretary of State addressed the Article 8 family aspects of the respondent’s position through the Rules, in particular EX1, and the private life aspects through paragraph 276ADE. The judge should have done likewise, also paying attention to the Guidance. Thus the judge should have considered the Secretary of State’s conclusion under EX.1 that there were no insurmountable obstacles preventing the continuation of the family life outside the UK. Only if there were arguably good grounds for granting leave to remain outside the rules was it necessary for him for Article 8 purposes to go on to consider whether there were compelling circumstances not sufficiently recognised under the Rules.
(1) The judgments of the Supreme Court in Patel and Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSC 72 serve to re-focus attention on the nature and purpose of Article 8 of the ECHR and, in particular, to recognise that Article’s limited utility in private life cases that are far removed from the protection of an individual’s moral and physical integrity. A person’s human rights are not enhanced by not committing criminal offences or not relying on public funds. The only significance of such matters in cases concerning proposed or hypothetical removal from the United Kingdom is to preclude the Secretary of State from pointing to any public interest justifying removal, over and above the basic importance of maintaining a firm and coherent system of immigration control.
(1) Failure on the part of the Secretary of State to identify in her decision any legitimate aim under Article 8(2) of the ECHR does not prevent a court or tribunal from seeking to do so on the basis of the materials before it.
(2) “Maintenance of effective immigration control” whilst not as such a legitimate aim under Article 8(2) of the ECHR can normally be assumed to be either an aspect of “prevention of disorder or crime” or an aspect of “economic well-being of the country” or both.
(3) “Prevention of disorder or crime” is normally a legitimate aim both in expulsion cases where there has been criminal conduct on the part of the claimant and in expulsion cases where there have only been breaches of immigration law.
(4) MF (Nigeria)  EWCA Civ 1192 held that the new immigration rules regarding deportation of a foreign criminal are a complete code. This was because of the express requirement in them at paragraph 398 to have regard to exceptional circumstances and other factors.
(5) It follows from this that any other rule which has a similar provision will also constitute a complete code;
(6) Where an area of the rules does not have such an express mechanism, the approach in R (Nagre) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 720 (Admin) (- in particular) and Gulshan (Article 8 – new Rules – correct approach)  UKUT 640 (IAC) should be followed: i.e. after applying the requirements of the rules, only if there may be arguably good grounds for granting leave to remain outside them is it necessary for Article 8 purposes to go on to consider whether there are compelling circumstances not sufficiently recognised under them.