Rwanda judgment: Home Secretary failed to properly consider if asylum seekers should not be relocated to Rwanda

Monday 19 December 2022


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This judgment concerns claims for judicial review brought by several individuals and organisations who challenged the decisions of the Home Secretary that asylum claims made in the United Kingdom should not be decided here but, instead, the persons who made the claim should be relocated to Rwanda and their asylum claims determined in that country in accordance with arrangements made between the governments of the United Kingdom and Rwanda.

The individual asylum-seekers who are claimants in these proceedings travelled in small boats from France to England and claimed asylum on their arrival in the United Kingdom. They contend that the arrangements made by the Home Secretary to relocate asylum-seekers to Rwanda are unlawful. They also contend that the Home Secretary did not consider their individual circumstances properly.

The High Court has ruled that the Home Secretary did not properly consider the circumstances of eight individual claimants in deciding that their asylum claims should not be determined in the UK. 

The decisions in all of these cases will be set aside and their cases will be referred back to the Home Secretary for her to consider lawfully as to whether they should not be relocated to Rwanda for their asylum claims to be considered there.

Garden Court Chambers (with barristers from other chambers) represented a number of claimants in this litigation.

Sonali Naik KC, Amanda Weston KC, Mark Symes, Eva Doerr and Isaac Ricca-Richardson represented AS (Iran) instructed by Paul Turner and Iain Palmer of Barnes Harrild & Dyer. 

Alex Grigg was part of the team representing HTN (Vietnam) instructed by Shalini Patel and Rachel Pask of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

David Sellwood was part of the team representing RM (Iran) instructed by Daniel Merriman and Tim Davies of Wilsons Solicitors. 

Raza Halim was part of the team representing NSK (Iraq) and AT (Iran). Ali Bandegani was part of the team representing AAA (Syria) and AHA (Syria). Raza Halim and Ali Bandegani were instructed by Toufique Hossain of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

On the wider government policy, the Court concluded that it is lawful for the government to make arrangements for relocating asylum-seekers to Rwanda and for asylum claims to be determined in Rwanda rather than the UK.

The teams will be considering if there are grounds for any onward appeals. 

The full judgment can be read here. This case has been widely reported in the media including the Guardian: 'Rwanda policy: judges found multiple flaws in individual cases'. 

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