Drastic blow to rule of law and justice if Rwanda Bill amendments are not accepted

It would be a drastic blow to the rule of law and the rights of vulnerable children and victims if the government fails to accept amendments to its ill-advised asylum Bill, the Law Society has warned.

Key amendments made to the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill by peers will be debated in the House of Commons today (Monday, 18 March).

“The Safety of Rwanda Bill is a defective, constitutionally improper piece of legislation,” said Law Society of England and Wales president Nick Emmerson.

“It undermines the rule of law and the UK’s constitutional balance, limits access to justice and ultimately will prove to be unworkable.

“While the Bill remains fundamentally flawed, peers have managed to make important improvements to the legislation in the House of Lords.

“These changes reduce the negative impact on the rule of law and constitutional boundaries and strengthen safeguards to protect the most vulnerable.

“It is vital that these improvements are maintained. Removing them would be a drastic blow to both the constitution and the safety of vulnerable individuals, including children and victims.

“We urge the government to engage with Parliament’s concerns and ensure they are addressed adequately before this Bill is allowed to become law.”

The key Lords amendments include:

  • ensuring the intention to maintain compliance with domestic and international law is on the face of the Bill
  • requiring the treaty with Rwanda to be fully implemented before people are removed there and ensuring Parliament’s ongoing oversight of its operation
  • allowing the courts to find Rwanda unsafe if presented with credible evidence
  • allowing appeals in age disputes to avoid the potential removal of unaccompanied children
  • ensuring victims of modern slavery and human trafficking are protected from removal
  • maintaining protections for those at the highest risk of harm if removed to Rwanda

About the Law Society

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Press office contact: Nick Mayo | 020 8049 4100

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