Ken Clarke
Ken Clarke. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

The Justice Department is expecting to reach an understanding which would bar the European Court of Human Rights overruling UK judges on immigration cases.

Justice Secretary Ken Clark has disclosed that an agreement is expected to be reached, which would prevent individuals being able to repeatedly challenge deportation rulings, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The deal, likely to be reached at a conference in London in April 2012, would end the situation where "everybody who's just lost his arguments about deportation should be able to go there and get in the queue, wait a few years to get it all reheard again when he's lost the argument three times already" in the UK, according to him.

Clarke added: "What we are trying to do is get the role of the court sorted out so that it deals with serious human rights issues of the kind that require an international court.

"We want the court back to its proper business as an international court which takes up serious issues of principle when a member state or its courts, or its parliament, are arguably in serious breach of the [European Human Rights] convention."

The UK took over chairmanship of the Council of Europe, which oversees the court, in November and will hold the reins for six months.

"To get any decision out of any international body usually takes at least 20 years," Clarke shared told the newspaper. "You would take the first two years trying to agree to where to put the commas in the memorandum. [But] it's not like that.

"A lot of member states have been pushing for similar things, and a lot of them believe a British chairmanship is the best time to deliver it, and they think we're the best hope of drawing this to a conclusion."

"The term human rights, it gets misused. There is a tendency in this country for the words human rights to get thrown about as much as health and safety. Both of them get hopelessly misused.

"When some official, some policeman, whoever, has made some mistake in taking some absurd decision, the first thing they do to fend off criticism is to blame it on health and safety and blame it on human rights. The truth is that someone's made a pig's ear in the office."