Attorneys have stated that the most recent proposals from UK officials to implement their highly publicized Rwanda policy are not expected to successfully address the legal challenges that resulted in their defeat in the supreme court on Wednesday.
Subsequent to the unanimous decision of the five judges to reject the government’s proposal to deport asylum seekers in the UK to a country in East Africa, Rishi Sunak stated that he would pass legislation declaring Rwanda as a safe destination in order to proceed with the flights.
The prime minister of the UK has announced plans to establish a new agreement with Rwanda, ensuring that individuals deported from the UK will not be sent back to their countries of origin. This process, known as refoulement, was a key factor in the supreme court’s rejection of the government’s appeal.
However, legal experts have stated that these modifications would not fulfill Sunak’s goal of putting an end to what he referred to as the legal “merry-go-round” and would probably still be deemed unlawful by the courts.
According to Adam Wagner, a barrister specializing in human rights at Doughty Street chambers, the supreme court justices emphasized the importance of the principle of non-refoulement, which is found in various legal sources. Wagner stated that even if the government passes a law claiming that two plus two equals five, it does not change the fact that two plus two equals four. Similarly, if the government declares that Rwanda is a safe country, it does not automatically make it safe according to both international and domestic laws.
The speaker mentioned the mention of a treaty between Rwanda and Israel by the supreme court. The court stated that there was a lack of compliance with promised actions, including a promise to not return refugees.
According to Wagner, changing cultures cannot be achieved through agreements. Additionally, the court expressed doubt in Rwanda’s ability to uphold the agreement. These are the facts. For change to occur, the reality on the ground must be altered. Neither legislation nor a treaty can bring about this change.
Several conservative individuals who lean towards the right side of the political spectrum have expressed their anger towards the European convention on human rights. However, legal experts have emphasized that this is only one of several agreements that hold the UK accountable for upholding the principle of non-refoulement.
“According to Schona Jolly KC, a barrister specializing in human rights at Cloisters chambers, the government is not considering the details in their decision-making process. The facts of the situation are important and were the foundation of the supreme court’s ruling. Enacting laws without proper scrutiny will not miraculously alter these facts, nor will it change the applicable international legal provisions or principles.”
Alexander Horne, a former parliamentary lawyer, also expressed similar sentiments, stating that altering our domestic laws will not resolve the issue of violating international laws. The supreme court has made it clear that we are bound by the refugee convention, the European convention on human rights, and the United Nations convention against torture, among other agreements.
Lawyers stated that the European court of human rights would not likely rule in favor of the government, even if changes in domestic law required the supreme court to do so.
According to Horne, disregarding the Strasbourg court, as suggested by Lee Anderson of the Tories, in the same manner as the supreme court could lead to a contentious confrontation with the international court.
In simpler terms, there are concerns about whether the government will have enough time to pass controversial laws through both parliament and the courts before the upcoming election.
Attorneys have expressed worries over the potential impact on the constitution from the government’s actions. According to parliamentary sovereignty, the government has the right to create laws in response to a legal loss. However, the Bar Council has stated that overturning a court’s decision “would bring up significant and crucial issues regarding the roles of the courts and parliament in countries that uphold the rule of law.”