This week, judges in the Appeal Court ruled 2:1 against the continuation of the Rwanda scheme in it's current form, and the Prime Minister has said the government will now take the case to the Supreme Court. You can read the full judgment here.
There has been a lot of headlines on judges finding Rwanda not to be a 'safe third country', but the decision was much more nuanced and rested on the subject of 'refoulement' - that is, whether asylum seekers are at risk of being sent back to their home country from Rwanda.
Even though Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice was outvoted by his two colleagues, he thought that it was unlikely that the scheme would compromise the human rights of anyone sent from Britain to Rwanda. He noted that Rwanda was heavily invested in the scheme and would want to get it right.
He noted that those sent to Rwanda would have continuous access to mobile phones, and any shortcomings in the agreed provision of lawyers, interpreters, etc., or in the decision-making process would swiftly come to light due to continuous monitoring of the scheme, thanks to a joint commission between our two governments, including the presence of Home Office experts in Kigali.
I am also satisfied that the terms of the agreement, the strong incentives on the Government of Rwanda to deliver its side of the bargain, the general scrutiny under which all decision making will be made and the strong monitoring arrangements in place lead to a conclusion that the risks of wrong or perverse decisions are also low
Lord Burnett, Lord Chief Justice
The Government will now appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court, and will continue to make preparations for removals to Rwanda and other safe third countries.
Deterrent is the only thing that will work. For the people smugglers business model to fail, those prepared to hand over thousands of pounds to them to jump the queue must know that they will not be eligible for asylum in the UK
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