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 The British Supreme Court judges it illegal to send migrants to Rwanda

Daniel Leal Agence France-Presse This Briton present before the British Supreme Court did not fail to criticize politicians Conservatives for their plan to deport asylum seekers who arrived illegally in the United Kingdom to Rwanda.

London showed on Wednesday its desire to continue its plan to send asylum seekers who arrived illegally in the United Kingdom to Rwanda, after the Supreme Court confirmed the illegality of this flagship measure of the Rishi government's migration policy. Sunak.

Inflicting a severe snub on the British Prime Minister, the magistrates of the highest British court unanimously rejected the appeal of the Ministry of the Interior and confirmed the conclusion of the Court of Appeal on the illegality of this measure because the Rwanda cannot be considered a safe third country.

Applauded by human rights associations and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, this decision is based on legal and in no way political reasons, insisted the President of the Supreme Court Robert Reed.


In front of MPs, Rishi Sunak indicated that his government was already working on a “new treaty” with Kigali.

“If it becomes clear that our national legal frameworks or our international conventions continue to hinder us, I am ready to modify our laws and re-examine these international relations,” he added, while some elected officials from his majority are demanding a withdrawal from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The new Minister of the Interior James Cleverly clarified that the government has been working in recent months to “provide the certainties that justice demands”, all in accordance with international law, he assured, a difference of tone noted by observers.

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  • The Anglican Church criticizes the plan to send migrants to Rwanda

Risk of “persecution”

In a telephone interview, Rishi Sunak and Rwandan President Paul Kagame “reiterated their strong commitment to making (their) immigration partnership work and agreed to take “necessary measures to ensure that this policy is robust and legal”, according to Downing Street.

If Rishi Sunak was able to rejoice at the start of the morning at having fulfilled his objective of halving inflation, this decision barely three hours later sounds like a bitter setback for the Prime Minister and his promise to “stop the boats” of migrants on the Channel.

More than 27,000 have made the crossing since the start of the year, after a record of 45,000 in 2022.

Announced a year and a half ago, at the time under the government of Boris Johnson, the project to send migrants to Rwanda – whatever their origin – was never implemented.

< p>In mid-2022, a first flight was canceled at the last minute after a decision by the ECHR.


Then at the end of last June, the London Court of Appeal judged the project “illegal”, considering that it exists “a real risk that people sent to Rwanda will (then) be returned to their country of origin where they were subject to persecution and other inhumane treatment.”

A reasoning validated on Wednesday by the Court supreme.


The Rwandan government, through a spokesperson, said it “disputes the decision that Rwanda is not a safe third country for asylum seekers and refugees.”

100% rejections

In a scathing letter on Tuesday responding to his dismissal the day before, former Interior Minister Suella Braverman accused Rishi Sunak of “irresponsibility” and having failed to prepare a “credible Plan B”.

The leader of the Labor opposition Keir Starmer had already warned that he would return to this project if he entered Downing Street.

Intervening in the procedure, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) considered that Rwanda did not have an “accessible, reliable, fair and effective asylum system”, and recalled that it “invariably expressed serious concerns” in this case.

The UNHCR had underlined, recalled Wednesday the President of the Supreme Court, that Rwanda rejected “100% of asylum requests” from countries in conflict zones such as Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, “even though British authorities often conclude that such requests are well-founded.”

London has continued to toughen its rhetoric on immigration. In July, a law was passed prohibiting migrants who arrived illegally in the United Kingdom from requesting asylum, regardless of the reasons which pushed them to flee their country.

The UN denounced a text contrary to the international law and expressed concern that “other countries, including in Europe” might be tempted to follow this path.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116