Priti Patel defends Rwanda plan during speech in Parliament
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The Rwanda asylum plan was launched by the government in April. It would allow the UK to send some asylum seekers to central Africa, fresh after arriving from across the Channel. But, just as Home Secretary Priti Patel was about to see her scheme come to fruition, it was foiled at the very final hurdle.
Seven passengers were sat onboard a Boeing 767 when the axe fell, waiting to be deported to Rwanda.
The ECHR ruled that one of the asylum seekers had genuine concerns about the deportation, and that UK judges hadn’t properly assessed the conditions in Rwanda.
As a result, the remaining passengers appealed their own cases, and all of the deportation orders were subsequently scrapped.
The Government hasn’t ruled out side-stepping the ECHR, in a bid to push the plan through, although Ms Patel insisted she was “committed” to the asylum scheme.
What would happen if the UK ignored the ECHR ruling?
The Government would face an uphill battle if the Rwandan scheme went ahead despite the latest ruling.
There would likely be a showdown between the UK and the court itself, according to Leeds Trinity University Senior Lecturer Frank Dignan.
Individuals would be able to challenge the decision directly to the court, claiming the government bypassed its convention.
There would then be a long legal battle to decide whether international law had been broken, or not.
Mr Dignan told Express.co.uk: “It would be hard for the UK to ignore ECHR rulings, because we are signatories to the Convention.
“It was post-war British governments which were largely responsible for drawing it up and our courts have to take account of the court’s judgments.
“If the government chose to ignore ECHR rulings, then there would be something of a head-on clash between the court and the government.
“It would be open to individuals to challenge the government for disapplying the court’s decisions, and the challenge could be under our own Human Rights Act (1998), giving individuals the right to enforce the Convention in domestic courts.”
Express letters: Patel to blame for crisis that’s run out of control [LETTERS]
‘This cannot go on!’ Priti Patel rages at Rawanda flight block by ECHR [QUOTES]
Priti Patel’s Rwanda ‘deterrent’ mocked over failure [NEWS]
The ECHR sits in Strasbourg, France, and is an international court designed to protect civil and political rights.
It’s entirely separate to the European Union, meaning the British government is still bound to its rulings, despite Brexit.
The Conservatives have occasionally pledged the repeal the Human Rights Act ever since 2006.
The Human Rights Act bring the ECHR into UK law, meaning the Government must abide by its rules.
The ECHR said an Iraqi man, known as KN, shouldn’t be sent to Rwanda as there was a “real risk of irreversible harm”.
It added that he shouldn’t be put on the plane until the Supreme Court delivered its full judgement on whether the government’s plan is legal.
The judgement is expected to be revealed next month, in July.
The Rwanda asylum scheme is part of a £120m five-year trial.
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