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Lawyers’ concern about Sunak’s Rwanda plan
Rishi Sunak Pic: Shutterstock

17 Nov 2023 / britain Print

Lawyers’ concern about Sunak’s Rwanda plan

Lawyers in Britain have expressed concerns about British prime minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement of emergency legislation after this week’s Supreme Court ruling on asylum policy, according to the Law Society Gazette of England and Wales.

On Wednesday judges unanimously found the British government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda unlawful, as deportees would face a “real risk” of refoulement.

In a statement, Sunak (pictured) said that he would be “working on a new international treaty with Rwanda”. He added that the new legislation would “provide a guarantee in law” that asylum seekers “will be protected against removal from Rwanda”.


The Law Society of England and Wales told the Gazette that it would “wait to see the detail”, while noting that the British government had yet to explain how its Illegal Migration Act could work in practice.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “Even with a Rwanda scheme, the government still does not have sufficient return agreements to implement the act, and risks adding a new group of asylum-seekers left in legal limbo to the already extensive backlog of asylum claimants.”

Bar Council chair Nick Vineall KC said: “If parliament were to pass legislation, the effect of which was to reverse a finding of fact made by a court of competent jurisdiction, that would raise profound and important questions about the respective role of the courts and parliament in countries that subscribe to the rule of law.”

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