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Britain ‘risks reputation’ with Rwanda bill
Rishi Sunak Pic: Shutterstock

07 Dec 2023 / britain Print

Britain ‘risks reputation’ with Rwanda bill

The Law Society of England and Wales has said that the British Government is risking the country’s international reputation, after the publication of a bill on its plan to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda.

The publication of the draft bill has already sparked a political crisis for prime minister Rishi Sunak (pictured), with immigration minister Robert Jenrick resigning after saying that the proposal “does not go far enough”.

The bill is an attempt to overcome last month’s Supreme Court ruling that the plan was unlawful.

It allows ministers to ignore sections of the Human Rights Act, but stops short of over-riding the European Convention on Human Rights. It does, however, allow Britain to ignore any emergency order from the European Court of Human Rights to temporarily halt a flight to Rwanda.

Plan ‘gestural’

The President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Nick Emmerson, said that the British Government was “seeking to overturn an evidence-based finding of fact by the Supreme Court and shield itself from accountability under both domestic and international law through this legislation”.

“For the second time this year, and by its own admission, the government is unable to guarantee the bill will be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights,” the president said.

“The Rwanda scheme has never been the answer to tackling the asylum question. The government is risking the UK’s international reputation and its standing in the world to deliver a plan that can, at best, be described as gestural,” he concluded.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland