Rwanda ruling provides further evidence Illegal Migration Bill is unworkable

The government’s Rwanda asylum plans being ruled unlawful provides further evidence that the Illegal Migration Bill is fatally flawed, warns the Law Society of England and Wales.

Today, (Thursday, 29 June) the Court of Appeal ruled that the High Court’s decision that Rwanda was a safe third country should be reversed. Unless and until the deficiencies in Rwanda’s asylum processes are corrected, removal of asylum seekers to Rwanda will be unlawful.

“We are pleased to see the Court of Appeal recognised the risks to individuals affected by the government’s Rwanda removal plans. The court accepted there is a real danger of individuals being returned from Rwanda to their home countries where they could face persecution,” said Law Society president Lubna Shuja.

“The Law Society has previously raised concerns regarding the compatibility of the Rwanda policy with the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. In particular we raised concerns in relation to asylum seekers being returned to their own country from Rwanda.

“Today’s ruling must call into question the Illegal Migration Bill as a whole.

“The government has only secured one removals agreement, which is with Rwanda, that has now been ruled unlawful. This means that at the proposed time the government plans for the bill to come into force, there will be no removals agreements in place.

“Regardless, Rwanda alone would not be able to accept anywhere near the number of people who would be scheduled for ‘removal’.

“Therefore, a large backlog of people due to be removed under the Illegal Migration Bill will build. They will be left in limbo and could remain in detention or government supported accommodation indefinitely.

“Whether these people are held in detention facilities or placed in hotels and hostels, this will come at an increasing cost to the taxpayer.”

Today’s ruling is likely to be appealed to the UK Supreme Court.

Notes to editors

Read the Court of Appeal judgment

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Nick Mayo | 020 8049 4100

Maximise your Law Society membership with My LS