In a landmark ruling on November 15, 2023, the UK Supreme Court ruled that the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful. The court unanimously found that the policy put asylum seekers at real risk of ill-treatment and violated the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.
The policy, which was announced in April 2022, was intended to deter people from crossing the English Channel in small boats. However, it was immediately met with widespread criticism from human rights groups and legal experts, who argued that it was inhumane and illegal.
The High Court initially ruled in favor of the government in December 2022, but the Court of Appeal overturned that decision in June 2023. The Supreme Court’s ruling upholds the Court of Appeal’s decision and effectively ends the Rwanda plan.
The ruling is a major victory for human rights campaigners and asylum seekers. It is also a blow to the UK government, which has faced growing pressure to abandon the policy.
What you should know:
- The Rwanda plan is unlawful because it puts asylum seekers at real risk of ill-treatment.
- The UK government has failed to adequately assess the risks of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda.
- The Rwanda plan would violate the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.
Reactions to the Supreme Court’s ruling:
- Human rights groups have welcomed the ruling as a victory for human rights and asylum seekers.
- The UK government has said that it is disappointed with the ruling but that it will respect the court’s decision.
- Some commentators have argued that the ruling will make it more difficult for the UK to control illegal immigration.
The future of the Rwanda plan:
The Rwanda plan is now effectively dead. The UK government has said that it will not appeal the Supreme Court’s ruling. However, it is possible that the government will try to develop a new policy that would be compliant with the law.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is a significant development in the UK’s asylum policy. It is a victory for human rights and asylum seekers, and it will make it more difficult for the UK government to control illegal immigration.