High Court to hear second challenge against Rwanda policy

In April, then-home secretary Priti Patel signed what she described as a “world-first agreement” with Rwanda in a bid to deter migrants from crossing the Channel.

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The High Court is due to hear a second challenge against the Government’s plan to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda.

In April, then-home secretary Priti Patel signed what she described as a “world-first agreement” with Rwanda in a bid to deter migrants from crossing the Channel.

However, the first deportation flight – due to take off on June 14 – was grounded amid a series of legal challenges.

Last month, several asylum seekers – along with the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) and groups Care4Calais and Detention Action – told judges at the High Court that Rwanda is an “authoritarian state” which “tortures and murders those it considers to be its opponents”.

Demonstrators outside the Royal Courts of Justice, central London, protesting against the Government's plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda,
Demonstrators outside the Royal Courts of Justice, central London, protesting against the Government's plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda,
In April, then-home secretary Priti Patel signed what she described as a “world-first agreement” with Rwanda in a bid to deter migrants from crossing the Channel.
In April, then-home secretary Priti Patel signed what she described as a “world-first agreement” with Rwanda in a bid to deter migrants from crossing the Channel.

However, Home Office lawyers argued that the Rwandan authorities have given “detailed assurances” over the processing of asylum claims and the ongoing treatment of individuals.

On Thursday, charity Asylum Aid is set to have its challenge over the plan to provide one-way tickets to the east African country heard by the same judges.

In a two-day hearing, lawyers for the charity are set to argue against the speed of the removal process, saying it does not allow asylum-seekers enough time to get advice.

The charity is also due to argue that there is a lack of information given to those affected.

Asylum Aid’s case is due to begin at 10:30 on Thursday morning before Lord Justice Lewis and Mr Justice Swift.

The two judges are expected to give its ruling on all the cases at the same time at a later date.

The latest court case comes as former Home Office permanent secretary Sir Philip Rutnam said at an Institute for Government talk that it would be “completely inappropriate” for the department’s staff to campaign against the Rwanda plan.

He said it is “not professional conduct” to “express opposition to the Government’s policy”.