Britain’s plan to send migrants to Rwanda is lawful, London’s High Court ruled on Monday but upheld eight asylum seekers’ individual legal challenges.
The policy, which was announced in April, would involve Britain sending tens of thousands of migrants who arrive on its shores more than 4,000 miles away (6,4000 km) to Rwanda.
Announcing the court’s decision, Judge Clive Lewis said it was lawful for Britain to make arrangements with the Rwanda government to send asylum seekers to the country for their asylum claims to be determined there.
“The (British) government has made arrangements with the government of Rwanda which are intended to ensure that asylum claims of people relocated to Rwanda are properly determined there,” the judge said.
“In those circumstances, the relocation of asylum seekers to Rwanda is consistent with the Refugee Convention and with the statutory and other legal obligations on the government, including the obligation imposed by the Human Rights Act 1998.”
But he said Britain’s interior minister, the Home Secretary, must consider properly the circumstances “of each individual claimant”.
“The Home Secretary has not properly considered the circumstances of the eight individual claimants whose cases we have considered,” he said.
Lewis said the Home Office’s decision in those cases “will be referred back to the Home Secretary for her to consider (them) afresh”.