The government of Rwanda loses an appeals court legal challenge

A rescue boat's passengers getting off at a beach while wearing bright protective clothing

The government has lost the most recent court case involving its deportation policy from Rwanda.

The Court of Appeal sided with a group of immigrants who entered the UK on small boats as well as an organization that advocates for asylum seekers who claimed the policy is unconstitutional.

The question of whether Rwanda met the criteria for being considered a "safe third country" for the purposes of hearing UK asylum cases was debated by a panel of three judges.

Ministers will probably appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Rwanda's potential status as a safe third country depends in large part on whether there is a chance that those who are applying for asylum could be deported to the nation they were originally fleeing.

At an earlier hearing, the High Court had supported the government's position, which was a crucial component of their plan to discourage people from sailing to the UK in small boats to seek asylum. Judges from the Appeal Court, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Sir Geoffrey Vos, and Lord Justice Underhill, however, examined that choice in this most recent phase of the procedure.

Although Lord Burnett supported the UK government, the other two came to the conclusion that the assurances provided by the Rwandan government were insufficient to ensure that there was "no real risk" that asylum seekers relocated as part of the Rwanda policy would be inadvertently sent back to nations where they would face persecution or other inhumane treatment.

Asylum seekers cannot be sent to Rwanda "until and unless the shortcomings in [the government's] asylum processes are corrected," the judges ruled.

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