Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda plan will not stop foreign courts meddling, experts warn

Sunak defends new Rwanda plan as he battles to maintain authority

Foreign judges will “likely and swiftly” try to stop the Rwanda scheme despite Rishi Sunak’s bid to safeguard it through new measures, legal experts have told Express.co.uk.

Their warning jars with the Prime Minister’s insistence at a press conference today that his bill and the Government’s new treaty with Rwanda would end “the merry-go-round of legal challenges that have blocked our policy for so long”.

Mr Sunak said the emergency legislation “fundamentally addresses” the concerns raised by the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights, repeating his pledge not to allow “a foreign court to block these plans”.

However Dr Helen O’Nions, Associate Professor at Nottingham Law School, said the new treaty “still fails to address the shortcomings the Supreme Court identified” such as in the areas of human rights and the risk of refoulement.

“The new treaty is not legally watertight, could face further legal challenges and it is difficult to see how effective it would be in practice when it comes to safeguarding asylum seekers and managing migration,” she added.

Dr Joelle Grogan, senior researcher at the UK in a Changing Europe think-tank, argued that the bill “almost certainly breaches the UK’s international obligations” by proposing to disapply relevant parts of international agreements.

She wrote on Express.co.uk: “Just because the Bill, should it become the law, will be legally valid in the UK does not make it so internationally.

“The European Court of Human Rights could โ€“ and likely will โ€“ issue judgments and interim orders against the UK. And most probably swiftly too, as preventing people from protecting their rights is one of the most basic violations of the ECHR.”

MPs are preparing to vote on the legislation next week. Earlier today, Mr Sunak urged sceptics to “look at the facts”, saying: “We have a plan. I am confident I can get this through.”

This comes as the European Research Group of Tory MPs indicated they would decide if the legislation was “fit for purpose” with the advice of its “Star Chamber team” led by Sir Bill Cash.

Meanwhile, Robert Jenrick argued in his resignation statement as immigration minister that the legislation did not provide “the best possible chance of success” of curbing any future intervention in the courts.

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