The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private on
16 October 1986, the following members being present:

                   MM C.A. NØRGAARD, President
                      J.A. FROWEIN
                      G. JÖRUNDSSON
                      S. TRECHSEL
                      B. KIERNAN
                      A.S. GÖZÜBÜYÜK
                      A. WEITZEL
                      J.C. SOYER
                      H.G. SCHERMERS
                      H. DANELIUS
                      G. BATLINER
                      H. VANDENBERGHE
                  Mrs G.H. THUNE
                  Sir Basil HALL
                   Mr F. MARTINEZ

          Mr H.C. KRÜGER, Secretary to the Commission

Having regard to Article 25 (art. 25) of the Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

Having regard to the application introduced on 21 April 1986 by S.L.
against the United Kingdom and registered on 2 May 1986 under file No.

Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 40 of the Rules of
Procedure of the Commission;

Having deliberated;

Decides as follows:


The facts of the case as submitted by the applicant may be summarised
as follows:

The applicant is a citizen of South Africa, born in 1958, who at the
time of lodging his application was detained in H.M. Remand Centre,
Richmond, Surrey, awaiting deportation back to South Africa. He is a
Hindu of Indian descent.  He is represented before the Commission by
Messrs Namel de Silva & Co., Solicitors, London.

The applicant entered the United Kingdom in August 1982 on a six month
visitor's permit.  He failed to apply for an extension of leave and
was arrested on 20 October 1983 and charged with overstaying.  He was
convicted on 23 January 1984 of this offence, fined £100 and
recommended for deportation.  No appeal was lodged against this

In the meantime the applicant had married a British citizen of Indian
origin on 14 January 1984.  His spouse has been settled in the United
Kingdom with her family since she was twelve years of age.

On 29 May 1984 the Home Secretary issued a deportation order against
the applicant.  Appeal applications to the Adjudicator
(3 October 1984), Immigration Appeal Tribunal (21 May 1985), the High
Court (12 September 1985) and the Court of Appeal (17 February 1986)
were unsuccessful.  The appeal applications under Section 17 para. 1
of the Immigration Act 1971 concerned the proposed destination of
deportation, i.e. South Africa, where the applicant claims to fear
persecution, but none of these jurisdictions was competent to consider
political asylum questions, these being matters solely within the
discretion of the Secretary of State, and the applicant had been
unable to show that any other country would accept him.

The applicant applied to the Home Secretary for political asylum on
the grounds that if he is required to leave the United Kingdom he
would have to go to South Africa where he fears persecution.

The Home Office informed the applicant's solicitors on 7 May 1985 as

"(The applicant) was interviewed on 21 January in order to give him
every opportunity of detailing his reasons for not wishing to return
to South Africa.  The results of this interview have been given full
and careful consideration but I regret to inform you that the
Secretary of State is not satisfied that (the applicant's) fear of
persecution is well founded.  The asylum application is therefore

Thereafter the applicant was involved in a criminal prosecution for
misuse of company funds and sentenced to six months' imprisonment by
the Knightsbridge Crown Court.  It was the intention of the Secretary
of State to deport the applicant on completion of that sentence
on 8 April 1986.

In a letter of 26 March 1986 written by the applicant's solicitors to
the Home Office, the application for political asylum was renewed in
the following terms:

"As our client is an active member of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in
London, which is banned in South Africa, which is also affiliated to
the African National Congress of South Africa, which is also banned in
South Africa, if he were to be forcibly removed to South Africa
against his will, he strongly believes that he will be persecuted.  He
will be detained in prison without trial.  His fear is a genuine one
and well founded.  The treatment of political dissidents in South
Africa can be said with absolute certainty.  (The applicant) will be
treated with scant regard to his liberty if at any stage he is
returned to South Africa.  It can be seen from daily reports of the
press that there is a fundamental struggle for human rights going on
in South Africa and that fundamental rights are being denied to people
of (the applicant's) race and political persuasion."

The refusal of the applicant's High Court application was reported in
the Daily Telegraph, and the solicitors claimed that the applicant's
anti-apartheid activities have been published in the South African
media and must be known by the South African Secret Police. The
applicant thus believes that he has "good reasons to fear for his life
on his return to South Africa and that he might well be arrested by
the Military Intelligence and will be subjected to torture and will
face imprisonment without trial and his life will be in danger."  No
formal reply to this application has been given.  The applicant has
been temporarily released pending the outcome of the various
representations that have been made on his behalf to the Home Office.

To substantiate his anti-apartheid activities, the applicant submitted
a photocopy of his purported membership card of the British
Anti-Apartheid Movement.


The applicant complains that he has been denied a fair hearing,
contrary to Article 6 (art. 6) of the Convention, in respect of his
application for political asylum, given the lack of jurisdiction of
the immigration appeal organs to deal with questions of asylum.  It is
contended that the limited nature of appeal against deportation under
Section 5 para. 1 of the Immigration Act 1971 is not only incompatible
with Article 6 (art. 6) of the Convention, but also contrary to
Articles 32 para. 2 and 33 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the
Status of Refugees, as amended by its 1967 Protocol.

The applicant also complains that his proposed deportation to South
Africa will breach his right to respect for family life ensured by
Article 8 (art. 8) of the Convention.  He states that he is happily
married to a British citizen of Indian origin who could not be
expected to follow him to South Africa, given the present
circumstances in South Africa.

Finally the applicant complains of a breach of Article 3 (art. 3)
of the Convention if he is sent back to South Africa where he fears
severe persecution, torture and imprisonment without trial, because of
his political activities against the present regime in South Africa as
an active member of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in the United Kingdom,
which is banned in South Africa.


1.      The applicant has complained of a denial of a fair hearing
before a competent jurisdiction in respect of his request for
political asylum.

The relevant part of Article 6, para. 1 (art. 6-1) of the Convention
provides as follows:

"In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ....
everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable
time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law ...."

However, the Commission recalls its constant case-law that Article 6
para. 1 (art. 6-1) of the Convention does not apply to the analogous
matter of deportation, no question of a determination of civil rights
and obligations arising:

"....A decision as to whether an alien should be allowed to stay in a
country is a discretionary act by a public authority.  Consequently,
the decisions to expel .... were of an administrative order and they
were made in the exercise of the discretionary powers of the
immigration authorities.  They did not, therefore, involve as such the
determination of civil rights within the meaning of Article 6 para. 1
(art. 6-1) of the Convention ...." (No. 8244/78 Singh Uppal et al.
v. the United Kingdom, Dec. 2.5.79, D.R. 17 p. 149).

The Commission considers that, similarly, the proceedings by which the
United Kingdom authorities refused the applicant political asylum were
of an administrative, discretionary nature and did not involve the
determination of the applicant's civil rights and obligations.  It
follows that the provisions of Article 6 para. 1 (art. 6-1) of the
Convention are not applicable to such proceedings and this aspect of
the case must be rejected as being incompatible ratione materiæ with
the provisions of the Convention, pursuant to Article 27 para. 2
(art. 27-2) of the Convention.

2.      The applicant next complains of a violation of his right to
respect for family life should he be deported to South Africa.  He is
married to a British citizen of Indian origin who, given the
circumstances in South Africa, could not be expected to follow him to
that country.

The relevant part of Article 8 (art. 8) of the Convention provides
as follows:

"1.  Everyone has the right to respect for his .... family  life ....

2.  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."

The Commission refers to its constant case-law that there is no right
to enter, reside or remain in a particular country guaranteed, as
such, by the Convention.  However, the Commission has also held that,
in view of the right to respect for family life ensured by Article 8
(art. 8), the exclusion of a person from a country in which his close
relatives reside may raise an issue under this provision of the
Convention (see e.g. No. 7816/77, Dec. 19.5.77, D.R. 9 p. 219).

In the present case, the Commission notes that the applicant is to be
deported for having failed to observe immigration controls and that
his marriage was contracted at a time when the applicant was aware
that he was at risk with his irregular immigration status. Although it
may be unreasonable to expect the applicant's wife to follow him to
South Africa, given the present circumstances there, the applicant may
not necessarily be permanently excluded from the United Kingdom.
According to current Immigration Rules the applicant may apply for
entry clearance to join his wife, she being a British citizen.  This
he could do following an application for the revocation of the
deportation order.  Although, according to para. 171 of the Statement
of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 169, the Secretary of State will
not normally revoke a deportation order which has been in force for
less than three years, he will consider revocation in exceptional

In the circumstances of the present case, even though the applicant's
present deportation would constitute an interference with his right to
respect for family life under Article 8 (art. 8), the Commission must
attach significant weight to the reasons for this measure.  It finds
with regard to the second paragraph of Article 8 (art. 8) that there
are insufficient elements concerning respect for family life which
could outweigh valid considerations relating to the proper enforcement
of immigration controls.  In this respect the Commission would
emphasise the close connection between the policy of immigration
control and considerations pertaining to public order.  The Commission
is of the opinion, therefore, that the potential interference with the
applicant's right to respect for family life is in accordance with the
law (the Immigration Act 1971), and justified as being necessary in a
democratic society for the "prevention of disorder" under the second
paragraph of Article 8 (art. 8), as a legitimate measure of
immigration control.

Accordingly, this part of the application must be rejected as being
manifestly ill-founded, within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2
(art. 27-2) of the Convention.

3.      Finally, the applicant has complained that his deportation to
South Africa, where he fears persecution, would constitute a violation
of Article 3 (art. 3) of the Convention, which provides as follows:

"No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment."

The Commission here again refers to its constant case-law:

"The Commission notes that even though the question of extradition,
expulsion and the right to asylum do not figure, as such, amongst
those rights which govern the Convention, the Contracting States have
none the less agreed to restrict the free exercise of their rights
under general international law, including their right to control the
entry and exit of foreigners, to the extent and within the limits of
the obligations they have accepted under the Convention (cf. mutatis
mutandis the decision of 30 June 1959 on the admissibility of
application No. 434/58, Yearbook 2, p. 373).  Consequently, the
expulsion or extradition of an individual could, in certain
exceptional cases, prove to be in breach of the Convention and
particularly of Article 3 (art. 3), whilst there are serious reasons
to believe that he could be subjected to such treatment prohibited by
the said Article 3 (art. 3) in the State to which he must be sent."
(No. 6315/73, Dec. 30.9.74, D.R. 1 p. 73)

It is thus the Commission's task to examine the particular
circumstances of this case in order to determine whether the
applicant's eventual expulsion to South Africa could constitute
inhuman or degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 3
(art. 3) of the Convention.

The Commission notes that the applicant claims to fear persecution in
South Africa because he is an anti-apartheid activist, being a member
of the British organisation, the Anti-Apartheid Movement, which is
apparently banned in South Africa.  This organisation also has links
with the banned African National Congress in South Africa.  The only
evidence submitted in support of this claim is a photocopy of a
purported membership card of the said British Movement.  While not
doubting the applicant's anti-apartheid convictions and the
difficulties he faces as a person of Indian origin in the apartheid
system of South Africa, these elements in themselves are insufficient
to show a genuine risk of persecution and severe ill-treatment
contrary to Article 3 (art. 3) of the Convention.

In these circumstances the Commission concludes that the applicant's
claim is unsubstantiated and that this aspect of the case is
manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2
(art. 27-2) of the Convention.

For these reasons, the Commission


Secretary to the Commission           President of the Commission

      (H.C. KRÜGER)                            (C.A. NØRGAARD)