The High Court has ruled that the Government’s plan to send refugees to Rwanda with a one-way ticket, is legal. Suella Braverman is claiming this as a victory but there is a sting in the tail of the ruling, which I have not yet read in full.
The decision is reported by the BBC who quote Braverman as vowing to continue and Yvette Cooper, Labour’s spokeperson, who called the policy “unworkable, extortionate and deeply damaging”, but not immoral nor criticising the hostile environment; she leaves that to Alison Thewliss, the SNP’s home affairs spokesperson.
David Allen Green also comments, pointing out that this is the tradition of the High Court to not engage in politics and that ruling a policy to be illegal is rare, although ruling a decision made under the policy as illegal is both common and the proper role of judicial review. The High Court ruled that the decisions taken by the Home Office as they relate to the 19 claimants were all improper; the decision on whether they should be allowed to remain, whether they should be removed, and the human rights impact were all wrong. This means that they will have to be retaken and will increase the cost of making these decisions as its pretty certain now that everyone selected to be sent to Rwanda will appeal to the courts.
The decision to send them to Rwanda for processing with a one-way ticket is morally wrong, and the unsuitability of Rwanda as a location for this work is explored in the Guardian. Rwanda’s human rights record leaves much to be desired and the refugee camps are now a source of recruitment to Rwanda supported militias fighting in the DRC. The neutering of the UK Government's human rights voice over Rwanda will not go down well either with the US, or with Rwanda’s neighbours.
PCS & Care4Calais plan to appeal, so we’ll see and of course there remains the ECtHR injunction to consider. I note that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees was an intervener in the case. However, the desire to manipulate international law with respect to immigration (and labour) law is bi-partisan.
The Guardian also reports the High Court decision and notes the Judges’ upholding of the appeals of the individual ruling that the Home Office decisions were legally unsound; they too question. Mike Sivier also comments, his article captures some quotes from the NGOs supporting the case, Care4Calais, Choose Love, and Detention Action.
The featured image is from unsplash. No flight has been made and the original contractors have pulled out. The image is not of a deportation flight.
Originally published at https://davelevy.info on December 21, 2022.