This week the challenge to the UK Government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was heard in the Supreme Court.

After the High Court’s 2022 decision that the Rwanda plan was lawful was overturned by a two to one majority in the Court of Appeal in June 2023, the case was appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal had ruled against the plan on the basis that Rwanda was not a ‘safe third country’ for the transfer by the UK of asylum seekers, and the plan could not go ahead unless “deficiencies in [Rwanda’s] asylum process are corrected”.

The hearings began on 9th October 2023 and the Supreme Court’s decision is expected later this year.

Angus McCullough KC is leading a team of counsel appearing pro bono for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, instructed by Baker McKenzie (also acting pro bono). UNHCR appeared as interveners in both appeals and in the Court below. Neil Sheldon KC and Natasha Barnes are instructed as counsel to the Home Secretary.