UK’s Rwanda Deportation Plan ‘Unlawful,’ Court Of Appeal Rules



The UK government’s plan to deport some asylum-seekers to Rwanda is unlawful, the Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday, in a major blow to ministers’ controversial immigration policies that have been roundly condemned by humanitarian bodies.

In a three-judge decision, the court overturned a high court decision that previously ruled that Rwanda could be considered a safe third country to which to send refugees.

“By a majority, this court allows the appeal on the issue of whether Rwanda is a safe third country. It unanimously dismisses the other grounds,” the ruling states. The British Home Office can now appeal to the Supreme Court.

Under the scheme proposed by the Conservative government, asylum-seekers deemed to have arrived in the UK illegally would be deported to the African nation.

The judgment summary said sending asylum-seekers to Rwanda would breach the European Convention on Human Rights.

The statement added that the court’s decision “implies no view whatever about the political merits or otherwise of the Rwanda policy.”

British Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been a key proponent of the scheme, in a bid to crack down on undocumented migrants entering the UK.

The government said the program is aimed at blocking people-smuggling networks and preventing migrants from making the treacherous sea journey across the Channel to England from France.

The home secretary is part of a legacy of pro-Brexit politicians who say it is necessary for Britain to “take control” of its borders.

She has drawn criticism for couching her agenda in flagrant rhetoric, previously railing against what she calls an “invasion” of migrants.

Human rights campaigners welcomed the ruling on Thursday, having slammed the Rwanda policy as unethical and ineffective.

“This is a HUGE win. The UK wants hope not hostility,” tweeted together with Refugees, a coalition of charities promoting asylum-seekers’ rights.

The number of undocumented people entering Europe has spiraled this year due to conflict, global inequality, and the climate crisis, exacerbating a migrant crisis across the continent.

More than 36,000 people crossed the Mediterranean from January to March this year, nearly twice the number in the same period in 2022, according to figures from the UN’s refugee agency.


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