The UK Government’s legal battle over its Rwanda deportation policy has reached the Supreme Court.
The Home Office is bringing a challenge after the Court of Appeal ruled in June that the multimillion-pound deal – which would see asylum seekers deported to the east African nation – was unlawful.
In a three-day hearing starting on Monday, five justices at the UK’s highest court will hear arguments over whether two appeal judges were right to find there was a “real risk” asylum seekers could be returned to their home country and face persecution when they may have a good asylum claim.
While Sir Geoffrey Vos and Lord Justice Underhill concluded there were “deficiencies” in the Rwandan asylum system and ruled the policy was unlawful, former lord chief justice Lord Burnett disagreed and said he would dismiss the challenge.
As well as the Home Office’s bid to overturn the decision, several individual asylum seekers are set to challenge aspects of the ruling.
Immigration featured heavily at the recent Conservative Party conference, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak saying he “will do whatever is necessary to stop the boats”.
He said on Wednesday: “We are by no means where we want to be but don’t let anyone tell you we aren’t making progress, we are and we will get there.
“Our new law will ensure that if you come here illegally, you will be detained and swiftly removed. Now I’m confident that once flights start going regularly to Rwanda, the boats will stop coming.”
He added: “I am confident that our approach complies with our international obligations. But know this: I will do whatever is necessary to stop the boats.”
The Supreme Court hearing in London, before Lords Reed, Hodge, Lloyd-Jones, Briggs and Sales, is due to begin at 10.30am.
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