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19th Dec 2022

UK plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda is legal, High Court rules

Steve Hopkins

Asylum seekers can be sent to Rwanda

Controversial government plans to send asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda are lawful, the High Court ruled on Monday.

Judges announced the Home Office had won a legal challenge against its policy, saying: “On the evidence before this court, the government has made arrangements with the government of Rwanda which are intended to ensure that the asylum claims of people relocated to Rwanda are properly determined in Rwanda.

“In those circumstances, the relocation of asylum seekers to Rwanda is consistent with the refugee convention and with the statutory and other legal obligations on the government including the obligations imposed by the Human Rights Act 1998.”

A decision on whether to allow an appeal has been adjourned until 16 January 2023.

The court also ruled that the cases of eight asylum seekers who were due to be deported must be reconsidered.

Lord Justice Lewis said those “decisions will be set aside and referred back to the home secretary to be considered afresh”.

It was widely expected that whoever lost today’s case would appeal, meaning that planes would not be imminently taking off to transport any asylum seekers to Rwanda, the BBC noted.

Read the judgement here.

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