Britain's plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda is lawful, ruled London's High Court. The court’s decision is a success for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as the ruling paves way for his political promise to lower the number of migrants arriving in the country in small boats.
The decision means that asylum seekers in some circumstances might be classified as eligible to be deported to Rwanda as a “Safe Third Country” and in that country, their applications will be considered.
The new government policy shall result in the deportations of thousands of migrants 4,000 miles away (6,400 km) to Rwanda.
The full text of the ruling was published on the London High Court’s Twitter:
Judges Clive Lewis and Jonathan Swift assured the public that it was lawful for Britain to agree with the Rwandan government upon sending migrants back to their country while their asylum applications will be considered there. The main part of the case was to consider Rwanda as a Safe Third Country in which the asylum seekers can stay until their applications are considered and if the U.K. government was able to prove it legally assured the status of asylum seekers in Rwanda.
The Rwanda judgment is now available to view online. https://t.co/angrVvoyL9— Judicial Office (@JudiciaryUK) December 19, 2022
The U.K.’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing huge pressure from within his own party and public opinion for concluding his policy.
The High Court in London upheld the government’s highly criticized policy to deport asylum seekers who arrive in Britain by boat to Rwanda, but it also said that eight specific deportation cases should be reconsidered. https://t.co/Inrjilpc2B— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 19, 2022
Now that the policy faces no legal obstacles U.K. interior minister, Suella Braverman, informed the government is ready to start the necessary deportation procedures as soon as it is possible.
The initial deportation flight to Rwanda was postponed in June by the legal move of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which decided to challenge the policy before London's High Court.
Responding to the ruling that allowed legal deportations Head of Bargaining at the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, Mr Paul O'Connor, said the government's policy is “morally reprehensible and utterly inhumane.”
The founder of Care4Calais, Clare Moseley said that those eligible to be deported “suffered human rights abuses and torture” while travelling to the U.K., and that “reading the transcripts of people being dragged onto that plane was absolutely horrific.”
Although an important legal step was made now the government’s policy might still be challenged by further appeals and protests including the ECHR path or further legal action from within United Kingdom’s legal system.
The London High Court also assured that now when the decision is made the government is obliged to once again reconsider 8 applications that were investigated by the court.
The London High Court said another session will be held on Jan. 16 to decide about agreeing upon any applications to appeal against the decision.
UK High Court in London have ruled that the government's policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda is lawful. But one of the judges (Lord Justice Lewis) said the home secretary should reconsider the circumstances of eight claimants whose cases were brought to court. pic.twitter.com/vsSWvVBBJU— Juneydi Farah (@JuneydiFarah) December 19, 2022