The regulations required people not legally settled in the UK to seek special permission to marry. These rules applied to couples even though one of them might have a legal right to be in the country. They were brought in by then-Home Secretary David Blunkett in 2004, amid concerns that thousands of people a year were using sham marriages to stay in the UK.
However the regulations were ruled as illegal by the High Court in 2006 and then Appeal Court last year. Yesterday the Law Lords agreed, saying they were an "arbitrary and unjust interference" with human rights. Baroness Hale said: "Denying those benefits to a couple whose relationship is genuine is neither a rational nor a proportionate response to the legitimate aims of a firm and fair immigration policy."
I love the way that Baroness Hale feels able to assess the proportionality of a law to the evil it's designed to address, and to conclude that requiring a foreigner to request permission to marry in the UK is a disproportionate response to several thousand fraudulent marriages each year and a significant contribution to illegal immigration. In the bad old days we used to have elected politicians to make those sort of judgements.
Whereas requiring a mother to undergo criminal record checks before escorting her disabled 14 year old son to school ? Obviously perfectly proportional.
A mother has been told she cannot travel to school with her severely epileptic son because she has not been police checked. Jayne Jones, of Aberfan near Merthyr Tydfil, used to travel with her son Alex, 14, in the council-provided taxi when she feared he may have a fit. But Merthyr Tydfil council has told her this must stop until she has undergone a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.Baroness Hale does of course have a fair bit of previous.
UPDATE - the Dumb One finds the words that I can't find. Read please.