The Supreme Court in London called Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plan unlawful on Wednesday and upheld a June Court of Appeal decision. The Supreme Court emphasized that there is a risk that asylum seekers in the East African country will not receive a fair procedure.
The ruling is a setback for the conservative government. The deportations to the African country, more than 6,400 kilometers away, were intended to deter migrants from coming into the country in small boats from France across the English Channel. Last year more than 45,000 people came to the UK this way. The number this year, at around 27,000 so far, is lower than last year. But the government’s promise to stop the boats has not yet been fulfilled.
According to the plan, irregular migrants should in future be able to be deported directly to Rwanda without examining an asylum application and instead apply for protection there. There were no plans to return to Great Britain. The plan was met with strong criticism at home and abroad. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) condemned the planned action as a breach of international law. England’s bishops spoke of a “disgrace for Great Britain”.
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