Court of Appeal to reconsider ruling that Rwanda policy to deport asylum seekers is lawful

Asylum seekers and a charity have been granted permission to appeal the High Court’s finding that the Rwanda asylum deal is lawful. In December, judges found that the

overall policy was legal but quashed the Home Office’s decisions to deport eight people selected for transfer to Kigali. Suella Braverman hailed the ruling as a victory,

claiming it “thoroughly vindicates the Rwanda partnership” and restating her commitment to starting flights to Kigali. But on Monday, the same judges granted permission for

the claimants to challenge their finding that the Rwanda policy was lawful as a whole. The Court of Appeal will consider arguments including whether the plan amounts to an

unlawful penalty under the Refugee Convention, if asylum seekers are given fair opportunity to resist deportation and whether commitments on their treatment made by the Rwandan

government can be relied upon. No date has been set for the appeal hearing and any ruling is expected to take several months, and may itself be appealed to the Supreme

Court, further delaying the possibility of any deportation flights taking off. Lord Justice Lewis told the High Court that some of the issues raised “concern the lawfulness

of the arrangement” and have a significant impact on the individual claimants, and all other asylum seekers who may be selected for deportation. The claimants argued that

judges made a mistake in previously deciding that written assurances given by the Rwandan government “provided sufficient guarantees” to protect asylum seekers from future

refoulement to countries where they would face harm, or the risk of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment.