An important judgment in the case of AAA and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWHC 3230 (Admin) has been handed down by the Divisional Court. The claim for judicial review was brought by several individuals and organisations who challenged the lawfulness of the arrangements made by the Home Secretary to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda, and for their asylum claims to be determined in Rwanda rather than in the UK.

The court concluded that the UK Government’s plan is lawful.

However, the court also determined that the Home Secretary must properly consider the circumstances of each individual claimant, and must decide whether there is anything about the claimants’ personal circumstances which means their asylum claim should be determined in the UK. The court determined that the Home Secretary had not properly considered the circumstances of the eight claimants whose cases had been considered in this review, and so their cases will now be referred back to the Home Secretary for fresh consideration.

Angus McCullough KC acted as leading counsel for the intervener, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Natasha Barnes was instructed as junior counsel for the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

The full judgment can be found here and a press summary here.

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