Agee v United Kingdom: ECHR 1976

(Commission) The Convention does not create any civil right to nationality or to a right of residence. The Secretary of State had made a deportation order against the applicant, who was a United States citizen, on grounds which included that he had maintained regular contacts harmful to the security of the United Kingdom with foreign intelligence officers. He complained that this infringed a number of his Convention rights, including Article 10. The Commission held that this complaint was manifestly ill-founded, observing: ‘Art 10(1) of the Convention provides inter alia that everyone has the right to freedom of expression and that this right includes freedom ‘to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority . . ‘
However, Art 10 does not in itself grant a right of asylum or a right for an alien to stay in a given country. Deportation on security grounds does not therefore as such constitute an interference with the rights guaranteed by Art 10. It follows that an alien’s rights under Art 10 are independent of his right to stay in the country and do not protect this latter right. In the present case the applicant has not, whilst in the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, been subjected to any restrictions on his rights to receive and impart information. Nor has it been shown that the deportation decision in reality constituted a penalty imposed on the applicant for having exercised his rights under Art 10 of the Convention, rather than a proper exercise on security grounds of the discretionary power of deportation reserved to States.’


(1976) 7 DR 164, 7729/76


European Convention on Human Rights


Human Rights

Cited by:

CitedFarrakhan, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 30-Apr-2002
The applicant sought admission to the UK. In the past he had made utterances which were capable of being racist. He claimed to have recanted, and had given undertakings as to his behaviour. At first instance it was held that the Home Secretary had . .
CitedA v Secretary of State for the Home Department, and X v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Dec-2004
The applicants had been imprisoned and held without trial, being suspected of international terrorism. No criminal charges were intended to be brought. They were foreigners and free to return home if they wished, but feared for their lives if they . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights

Updated: 19 July 2022; Ref: scu.180532