1. Whether or not the United Kingdom's refusal to admit the applicants to Britain, or to allow them to stay there permanently, violated their rights under Article 3 of the Convention 
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of the Convention in that, at the time when their applications were introduced to the Commission, they refused them admission to Britain or permission to remain there permanently.
In examining the different elements of this issue, the Commission will inter alia discuss the question whether the immigration legislation applied in the applicants' cases discriminated against them on the ground of their race or colour. The Commission does not find that Article 14, considered in conjunction with Article 3, adds anything in this context. It is true that Article 14 ensures the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention without discrimination on the ground of race or colour. However, as discrimination will in the present cases be considered under Article 3, as one of the elements which might constitute "degrading treatment", the Commission does not find it necessary to examine it again under Article 14 in connection with Article 3.
• the 25 applicants who are citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, and
• the 6 applicants who are British protected persons .
(b) The 25 cases of citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies (Applications Nos. 4403/70-4409/70, 4412/70, 4413/70, 4415/70-4419/70, 4422/70, 4423/70, 4434/70, 4443/70, 4478/70, 4486/70, 4501/70 and 4527/70-4530/70)
The 25 applicants who are citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies submit that the British authorities, by refusing to admit them to the United Kingdom or to allow them to stay there permanently, reduced them to the status of second-class citizens. This degradation, which was based on their colour or race, amounted to "degrading treatment" in the sense of Article 3.
Furthermore, the legislation applied in the present cases did not discriminate against the applicants on the ground of their colour or race and, in any case, discrimination cannot by itself constitute "degrading treatment".
(aa) Preliminary observations concerning the right of entry
entry or residence as such, but that it is being invited to examine the different question whether the decisions complained of amount to "degrading treatment" in the sense of Article 3.
(bb) The meaning of the term "degrading treatment" in Article 3
Consequently, the Commission will first examine the ordinary meaning of the term "degrading treatment" in its proper context, combined with the object and purpose of the European Convention on Human Rights. It will next take account of the preparatory work, as supplementary means of interpretation , and finally consider the relation of its own jurisprudence to the interpretation reached.
The Commission finds this broad interpretation of the ordinary meaning useful when defining the term "degrading treatment" in Article 3 of the Convention. In view of the particular context in which the term is used in Article 3, the Commission considers, however, that the above interpretation must be narrowed.
Article 3 states that no one shall be subjected to "torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". The term "degrading treatment" in this context indicates that the general purpose of the provision is to prevent interferences with the dignity of man of a particularly serious nature. It follows that an action which lowers a person in rank, position, reputation or character can only be regarded as "degrading treatment" in the sense of Article 3 where it reaches a certain level of severity.
The Government themselves quote the passage in the Commission's Report in the First Greek case dealing with Article 3:
"The notion of inhuman treatment covers at least such treatment as deliberately causes severe suffering, mental or physical, which in the particular situation is unjustifiable" ... while torture "is generally an aggravated form of inhuman treatment. "
The Government also fail to appreciate that part of the Report in the First Greek Case dealing with "non-physical torture or ill-treatment". The Report states that "the notion of non-physical torture is here used to cover the infliction of mental suffering by creating a state of anguish and stress by means other than bodily assaults" and goes on to refer to cases involving different forms of mental cruelty.
If torture does not necessarily require a "physical act or condition", then a fortiori this element cannot be a prerequisite of degrading treatment.
"The Convention was manifestly adopted for a purely humanitarian and civilising purpose ... its object on the one hand is to safeguard the very existence of certain human groups and on the other to confirm and endorse the most elementary principles of morality. In such a convention the contracting States do not have any interests of their own; they merely have, one and all, a common interest, namely, the accomplishment of those high purposes which are the raison d'être of the Convention ... The high ideals which inspired the Convention provide, by virtue of the common will of the parties, the foundation and measure of all its provisions."
This definition is similar to the interpretation reached in paragraph 189 above; particular, the word "grossly" indicates that Article 3 is only concerned with degrading treatment" which reaches a certain level of severity.
(cc) The elements to be considered in the present cases
The Commission now confirms this view and further observes that it is not faced with the general question whether racial discrimination in immigration control constitutes as such degrading treatment. The question is rather whether the legislation applied in the applicants' cases, i.e. the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 as amended by the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 and the Immigration Appeals Act 1969, discriminated on the ground of race or colour and, if that be the case, whether its application in the following special circumstances of the present cases constituted "degrading treatment" in the sense of Article 3 of the Convention:
• the "pledge" of free entry, which is said to have been given previously to the citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies in East Africa who were affected by the Act;
• the fact that the persons concerned were not aliens, but were and remained citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, and that as such, although they had the same duties as other citizens, under the 1968 Act they no longer had the same right of entry;
the increasingly difficult situation with which these persons were faced in East Africa: most of them were deprived of their livelihood and rendered destitute' their continued residence in East Africa became illegal; and, being refused entry; by the only State of which they were citizens - the United Kingdom - they had nowhere else to go.
In addition to the above elements, which are common to all the present cases. some of the applications present further features which have to be taken into account as aggravating factors. These relate to the manner in which immigration control was under the applicable legislation and administrative instructions, exercised in the cases concerned and, in particular, to the practice of shuttlecocking (cf. Applications Nos. 4404, 4407, 4434, 4486 and 4501).
(dd) The question of racial discrimination
• imposed (in so far as Tanzania was concerned), or
• re-imposed (in the cases of Kenya and Uganda)
immigration control on the great majority of United Kingdom passport holders, who were citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, of Asian origin and resident in East Africa. The present applicants all belong to this group.
It notes in particular that a former Secretary of State for the Colonies had proposed legislation to limit the rights of Asians from Kenya to enter the United
Kingdom, and that the main purpose of the Government's Bill was apparently to exclude that "most of the 200,000 Asians in East Africa would continue to be free to come here at will".
It recalls, first, that the 1968 Act was preceded by the British Nationality Act 1964. The latter Act, as stated above, facilitated the resumption of citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies by persons who had chosen to become citizens of Uganda or Kenya, provided that such persons had a "qualifying connection with the United Kingdom or Colonies or with a protectorate or protected state"; this condition would normally be fulfilled by the so-called "white settlers", but not by members of the Asian communities in East Africa.
The Commission notes, secondly, that the 1968 Act has in the meanwhile been replaced by the Immigration Act 1971. Under the latter Act, persons who belong to the category of "patrials" have a "right of abode" in the United Kingdom, irrespective of whether they are citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies; such persons would normally be white Commonwealth citizens. The Asian citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies in East Africa, on the other hand, would not normally be "patrials" and thus have no "right of abode" in the United Kingdom, the State of which they are Citizens.
The Commission observes, thirdly, that Rule 27 of the Immigration Rules for Control on Entry of 25 January 1973, which were laid down by the Home Secretary as to the practice to be followed in the administration of the Immigration Act 1971 provides as follows:
"Upon proof that one of his grandparents was born in the United Kingdom and Islands, an applicant who wishes to take or seek employment in the United Kingdom will be granted an entry clearance for that purpose. A passenger holding an entry clearance granted in accordance with this paragraph does not need a work permit and ... should be given indefinite leave to enter."
The Commission considers that this Rule constitutes, in effect, an extension of the above category of "patrials", which would normally operate in favour of white people.
(ee) The special circumstances which are common to the present cases
The Commission does not find it established that the United Kingdom gave an express undertaking, by way of a formal pledge, that its citizens of Asian descent in East Africa would always be free to come to Britain. It notes, however, that those who assumed that there had been an implied "pledge" of this nature seem to have based this assumption on the following elements:
• the provisions of the Uganda Independence Act 1962 and the Kenya Independence Act 1963 which allowed those Asians who did not obtain local citizenship by birth or by option to retain their status as citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies;
• the issue, following the independence of Uganda and Kenya, of United Kingdom passports to East African Asians who had so retained their citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies;
• the provision of the 1962 Act which exempted from immigration control any person "who holds a United Kingdom passport and is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies".
Furthermore, the United Kingdom authorities did not until February 1968 'indicate that any change was envisaged with regard to the entry into Britain of citizens ~f the United Kingdom and Colonies coming from East Africa. In particular, the White Paper "Immigration from the Commonwealth", which was published by the British Government in 1965, while proposing to limit immigration from the Commonwealth, did not contain any reference to the East African Asians who were citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies.
These people had apparently not opted for local citizenship, but retained their status as citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, because they considered this status as a safeguard for their future position in that it gave them the rights of entry into, and residence in, the United Kingdom. The time-limit of two years, during which they could obtain local citizenship by option, had in 1965, at the time of the publication of the above White Paper, expired in Uganda. However, for the Asians concerned in Kenya, it would then still have been possible to opt for Kenyan citizenship as a matter of right.
The Commission considers that all this was foreseeable at the time when the 1968 Act was passed. It is true that the subsequent hardship of the applicants resulted primarily from the actions of the Kenyan and Uganda authorities, but even if the United Kingdom did not directly cause the hardship, they exposed the applicants to the possibility of it occurring.
The Commission also recalls that some of the applications present further features which have to be taken into account as aggravating factors.
The Commission recalls in this connection that, as generally recognised, a special importance should be attached to discrimination based on race; that publicly to single out a group of persons for differential treatment on the basis of race might, in certain circumstances, constitute a special form of affront to human dignity; and that differential treatment of a group of persons on the basis of race might therefore be capable of constituting degrading treatment when differential treatment on some other ground would raise no such question.
(gg) Final observations (Article 25)
The Commission notes that during the present proceedings all 25 applicants were 210. eventually given permission to stay permanently in the United Kingdom.
The Government has in this connection invoked Article 25 of the Convention, submitting that under this provision, an applicant may only complain to the Commission if he is still the victim of a violation of the Convention.
(c) The six cases of British protected persons (Applications Nos. 4410/70, 4411/70, 4414/70,4476/70,4477/70 and 4526/70)
• according to English law, British protected persons, although not aliens, are not British subjects;
• they became and remained subject to immigration control under the 1962 Act;
• their position as regards entry to the United Kingdom was not changed by the 1968 Act;
• the immigration legislation concerned did not distinguish between different groups of British protected persons on any ground of race or colour.
2. Whether or not the United Kingdom's refusal to admit the applicants to Britain or to allow them to stay there permanently, violated their rights under Article 5 - either alone or in conjunction with Article 14 - of the Convention
(a) Article 5
It follows from the terms of its decision on the admissibility of the applications in Group I that, at the present stage, the Commission is only concerned with "security" and not with "liberty" of person.
The Government reply that "security of person" under Article 5 is to be understood in the general context of "liberty of the person". Article 5 does not cover arbitrary action as such, and furthermore the United Kingdom authorities have not acted arbitrarily.
"(1) Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.
No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:
(a) the lawful detention of a person after conviction by a competent court;
(b) the lawful arrest or detention of a person for non-compliance with the
lawful order of a court or in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation prescribed by law;
(c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of
bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done so;
(d) the detention of a minor by lawful order for the purpose of educational
supervision or his lawful detention for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority;
(e) the lawful detention of persons for the prevention of the spreading of
infectious diseases, of persons of unsound mind, alcoholics or drug addicts or vagrants;
(f) the lawful arrest or detention of a person to prevent his effecting an
unauthorised entry into the country or of a person against whom action is being taken with a view to deportation or extradition.
(2) Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the reasons for his arrest and of any charge against him.
(3) Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 (c) of this Article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.
(4) Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful.
(5) Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in contravention ~f the provisions of this Article shall have an enforceable right to compensation."
In the case of Article 5 of the Convention, the initial statement of the right guaranteed is qualified within paragraph 1 itself. The succeeding paragraphs then set out certain additional rights of a person who has been deprived of his liberty.
It appears, therefore, to be in accordance with the structure both of Article 5 and of the Convention as a whole to take the expressions "liberty" and "security" of person in paragraph 1 of Article 5 as being closely connected.
This interpretation is confirmed both by the text of Article 5 and by the preparatory work of the Convention, which show that protection against arbitrary arrest and detention was one of the principal considerations of the drafters of this treaty.
(b) Article 14 in conjunction with Article 5
3. Whether or not the United Kingdom's refusal to admit to Britain the applicants in Applications Nos. 4478/70, 4486/70 and 4501/70 violated these applicants' rights under Articles 8 and 14 of the Convention
Article 14 of the Convention imposes a further limitation on the above exceptions regarding the interference of public power in matters affecting family life: it states that the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention "shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex".
The Government reply that in each case the separation of husband and wife occurred voluntarily; further, in so far as Article 8 guarantees a right for a family to reside together at a particular place, that place is where the husband lawfully is and not the wife.
(1) Section 2 (2) (b) of the 1962 Act, as amended by the 1968 Act and the
Immigration Appeals Act 1969, exempted from immigration control the wife of a Common-wealth citizen resident in the United Kingdom: she was entitled to admission for settlement, provided she held an entry certificate evidencing fulfilment of this provision;
(2) that there was no corresponding exemption for husbands of Commonwealth citizens resident in the United Kingdom. Indeed, paragraph 41 of the Instructions to Immigration Officers of February 1970 stated expressly:
"The fact that his wife was born or is resident in the United Kingdom does not in itself give a man a claim to settlement without an employment voucher. A Commonwealth citizen whose sole claim to settlement is in right of his wife should be admitted only if he has an entry certificate endorsed 'joining wife'. The Secretary of State will authorise the issue of an entry certificate for this purpose only if he is satisfied that there are special considerations, whether of a family nature or otherwise, which render exclusion undesirable; for example, because of the degree of hardship which, in the particular circumstances of the case, would be caused if the wife had to live outside the United Kingdom in order to be with her husband."
(3) under the above legislation, the three applicants concerned, being the husbands of Commonwealth citizens resident in the United Kingdom were, at the time when their applications were introduced with the Commission, refused admission to Britain, while they would have been admitted had they been the wives of such citizens.
The Commission further considers that this interference with family life was in the circumstances of the present cases contrary to Article 14, read in conjunction with Article 8 of the Convention, in that it discriminated against male immigrants on the ground of their sex.
United Kingdom, and it refers in this connection to the observations made in paragraphs 210 to 212 above.
4. Complaints under Articles 1 and 13 of the Convention
The Committee of Ministers,
Having regard to Resolution DH (77) 2 whereby the Committee removed the examination of the case from its agenda;
Having regard to the request formulated by the Government of the United Kingdom on 25 February 1994 to have the Report of the European Commission of Human Rights in this case made public,
Decides to make public the above-mentioned Report of the Commission.
* A separate individual opinions of Mr. J. E. S. Fawcett and a dissenting opinion of Mr. F. Welter are not reporduced in this version of the decision.