Commenting on the publication of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill, Nick Vineall KC, Chair of the Bar Council, said:

“It is not surprising that the Home Secretary has said that he is unable to state that the provisions of the Bill are compatible with the rights granted by the European Convention of Human Rights. The Bill contains some striking provisions. 

“Clause 2(1) requires every decision maker (including the courts) to ‘conclusively’ treat the Republic of Rwanda as a safe country, whether or not it is in fact safe. Clause 3 disapplies some key provisions of the Human Rights Act. Happily, clause 4 retains the right of the courts to consider whether Rwanda is a safe country for any particular individual. 

“The Bill will test the precise extent of the constitutional principle of the supremacy of Parliament, and, if passed into law, is likely to give rise to legal challenges. If the Government had wished to avoid legal challenges and had also had a high degree of confidence that Rwanda, in fact, is – and will continue to be – a safe place, it seems unlikely that it would have chosen to introduce a bill in this form.”