The Supreme Court’s decision requires fresh thinking – not emergency legislation
Time, reflection and cool heads are needed to fully digest the ruling amid the heat of a turbulent few days in Westminster.
In a lightning quick and clear decision, the UK Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision that the government’s ‘Rwanda policy’ is unlawful.
The UK’s highest court ruled that whilst the Rwandan government entered into the arrangement with the UK in good faith, the evidence shows ‘there are substantial grounds for believing that asylum seekers would face a real risk of ill-treatment by reason of refoulement (or return) to their country of origin if they were removed to Rwanda’.
This was the long-awaited finale of proceedings with great significance for the UK government’s ‘small boats policy’. Coming ahead of a looming election, and following the sacking of the policy’s key protagonist, Suella Braverman, a negative result would inevitably be politically charged.
The prime minister’s reaction, announcing emergency legislation to declare Rwanda a safe country – and reframing the decision as a battle with the European Court of Human Rights – was intended to demonstrate his resolution to carry the policy through.
But it’s unclear how the proposal will comply with the Supreme Court’s decision. A new approach on the important migration issue is badly needed.
Click here to continue reading the full version of this Expert Comment on the Chatham House website.
Latest News from
Russia’s war on Ukraine has strengthened Lukashenka but undermined Belarus05/12/2023 09:20:00
Aliaksandr Lukashenka has capitalized on the conflict, but his regime’s dependence on Russia is eroding Belarusian sovereignty.
What COP28 needs to address to avoid climate disaster04/12/2023 12:20:00
The climate is on its way to exceeding a 1.5°C increase in the global temperature. World leaders can stop it – but they have to act now.
The UK's new development strategy is a good start but should be bolder29/11/2023 09:20:00
The white paper should help restore confidence in the UK’s approach to international development, but it ducks some central questions.
What a far-right surge in the Netherlands means for Europe27/11/2023 12:20:00
A solid bloc of Eurosceptic parties in power is cause for concern.
The Hamas–Israel hostage deal could pave the way to de-escalation and ultimately peace23/11/2023 12:20:00
Plans to rebuild Gaza after the war must be made alongside securing the safe return of all hostages.
Argentines voted to dismantle Peronist patronage. Whether Milei can do that is uncertain21/11/2023 16:20:00
Milei provides a voice for those disgusted with Argentine politics, but his plans are vague and his political power uncertain.
The closer Israel gets to destroying Hamas, the more likely war with Hezbollah becomes21/11/2023 09:20:00
The US must do everything it can to prevent another devastating war.
Biden needs to convince Americans that dialogue with China is in their interests20/11/2023 14:20:00
That is not easy when Republicans see electoral advantage in attacking him as ‘soft on China’.