The UK Court of Appeal Thursday ruled that the UK Government’s “Rwanda Plan” is unlawful. In the ruling the Lord Chief Justice Burnett reversed the High Court’s finding, writing, “Unless and until the deficiencies in its asylum processes are corrected, removal of asylum seekers to Rwanda will be unlawful.”
While the court unanimously accepted “the assurances given by the Rwandan government” as “made in good faith,” the majority believed that the UK government had failed to enact necessary changes. Because of that, the plan would still be in violation of Article Three of the European Convention on Human Rights, which the court noted, “parliament has required the government to comply with.”
Since the Rwanda plan was enacted in 2022, it has seen fierce opposition from many human rights organizations who say the plan is immoral, unjustifiable and in breach of the UK’s international human rights obligations. The plan would ban asylum seekers who arrive illegally from claiming UK settlement or UK citizenship and from re-entering the UK if they are removed. Under the plan, asylum seekers would likely be deported back to their home countries or to a “safe third country,” such as Rwanda.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said in a statement that he “fundamentally” disagrees with the Court of Appeal’s decision. He insisted Rwanda was a safe country, and said that only the government can decide who comes to the UK. Sunak insisted he will do “whatever is necessary to make that happen.”
UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman said in a statement, “We’ve got an unsustainable problem that we need to fix. And whilst, of course we are disappointed with the decision today, we will be putting in an application to seek permission to appeal the judgment very, very swiftly.”
This comes amidst condemnation from the upper house in Parliament on the Illegal Immigration Bill. The case is now likely to go to the Supreme Court.