UN experts concerned Rwanda Bill will threaten judicial independence

The United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs on the independence of judges and lawyers, human rights of migrants and trafficking in persons have said they are concerned that the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill overrides the power of the judiciary to rule independently on the facts of cases before it and apply the law.

Law Society of England and Wales president Nick Emmerson said: “We welcome the UN special rapporteurs’ statement, which mirrors the Law Society’s concerns.

“The Law Society – alongside scores of parliamentarians and civil society organisations – have repeatedly expressed concerns that the Rwanda Bill profoundly undermines the democratic balance of powers in the UK by sidelining the courts from providing independent, legal oversight. This makes it incompatible with international law and the rule of law.

“This statement from UN experts shows that these concerns are shared beyond the UK.

“There have now been numerous warnings of the damage this bill would do, from international bodies and experts.

“The UK government should take notice of these warnings and consider the detrimental impact this constitutionally improper and unworkable law would have on the UK’s international reputation.

“As the Rwanda Bill heads to report stage in the House of Lords today, we urge the government to seriously consider the amendments that have been put forward.”

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