UK legislation to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda is being challenged today at the High Court.
The legal action is being brought by a group of refugees and charities who are arguing that Boris Johnson’s controversial immigration policy is unlawful and breaches human rights conventions.
The hearing is expected to last five days.
The Nationality and Borders Act became law in April 2022. Among the changes, it brought in reforms of the UK asylum system, allowing the UK to remove asylum seekers whose claims are inadmissible to a ‘safe third country’ where applications would be processed, as long as that country agrees to receive them.
Rwanda then agreed to receive such asylum seekers under a new UK-Rwanda migration and economic development partnership.
The claimants are arguing against the Home Office’s assessment that Rwanda is a “safe third country.”
After lower courts had ruled the flight could go ahead, the UK Supreme Court had previously refused to block the first deportation flight to Rwanda in June. However, following a last minute intervention by lawyers, the flight was later halted by the European Court of Human Rights.
The UK’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, has publicly backed the policy.