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british citizenship consultation a figleaf? June 3, 2008

Posted by Bradley in : Uncategorized , trackback

The other day the Law Society of England and Wales responded to the UK Home Office’s consultation on British Citizenship, The Path to Citizenship. The introduction to the response is quite disturbing:

The Law Society welcomes this opportunity to comment on the Government’s proposals regarding reforming the immigration system. However the Society is concerned that this consultation does not represent a genuine attempt to consult the public on the proposed changes to British citizenship, as we understand from recent correspondence that UKBA is already preparing to implement the proposals notwithstanding the fact that the consultation is still open. This calls into question the genuine nature of the consultation process.

Generally it’s a pretty critical response (with wording like “fundamentally flawed” cropping up as in “the proposed route to citizenship is fundamentally flawed”). And there are more criticisms relevant to the question of how Government manages consultations:

The Law Society responded in substantial detail to the Home Office’s initial consultation on ‘Simplifying Immigration Law’ in August 2007. The Home Office had suggested that, by the end of 2007, more concrete proposals relating to the simplification of immigration law would be published for further consultation. The Law Society, therefore, is disappointed that the proposals now published so belatedly in the consultation document are very general in nature and non-specific with respect to the details of their content. Since it is the Law Society’s understanding that the proposals of this chapter are to be included in a draft bill to be published in the summer, it is disappointed that the general nature of the proposals in the consultation document makes it impossible to provide meaningful comment which would constructively inform the preparation of a draft bill.

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