THE Supreme Court is set to deliver a judgment on whether or not the UK Government’s Rwanda asylum policy is unlawful.

Tory ministers have repeatedly lost their case arguing that the multi-million-pound deal, which would see asylum seekers deported to the east African nation, was lawful in the lower courts.

After the Court of Session ruled in June that the policy was unlawful, the Home Office challenged the decision which led to the case being taken to the UK’s highest court.

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A month after the case was heard in the Supreme Court, the five justices are set to deliver their verdict on Wednesday November 15 at around 9.45am.

What is the Rwanda asylum policy?

Announced in April 2022 under then-prime minister Boris Johnson and former home secretary Priti Patel, the five-year trial would see asylum seekers sent to Rwanda to claim asylum there rather than the UK.

Those deported may be granted refugee status to stay in Rwanda, or if refused can apply to settle there on other grounds or apply to a third country.

The UK Government argued that the plan was to deter people arriving in the UK through “illegal, dangerous and unnecessary methods”, such as small boats crossing the English Channel.

The National:

Suella Braverman (above), who was sacked as the home secretary on Monday, previously said it was her “dream” to deport people to Rwanda.

The plan was criticised by human rights campaigners and others, with asylum seekers and charities taking the UK Government to court over its lawfulness.

What were the arguments that the Supreme Court heard?

Raza Husain KC, representing a number of asylum seekers, told the Supreme Court that Rwanda imprisons, tortures and murders those it considers to be its opponents”, and that Home Office officials had “repeatedly recorded their concerns about it”.

He described the country’s asylum system as “woefully deficient” and “marked by acute unfairness and arbitrariness”.

Addressing the Court in October, he accused Braverman of ignoring the issues with the Rwandan system.

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Husain said the UK Government’s “extravagant claims” in its Supreme Court appeal “should be rejected”. They had argued that “evidence of large scale abuse” under a similar previous agreement Rwanda held with Israel was of “little relevance”.

Meanwhile, Sir James Eadie KC, for the Home Office, said the policy to remove people to “a country less attractive” than the UK, “but nevertheless safe”, is lawful.

He said both countries are “committed” to the deal, with “very powerful” practical incentives for Rwanda to comply with the assurances given.

The National:

What are the likely outcomes?

The Supreme Court justices could deliver a straightforward yes or no verdict on the lawfulness of the policy, or a possibly more complex ruling.

It is likely that any outcome could end up with further appeals to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, so it’s not the end of the case yet.

However, it could spell political trouble for James Cleverly (above), who took over from Braverman as Home Secretary this week.

The five justices will give their verdict on Wednesday morning before Rishi Sunak faces Prime Minister’s Questions.

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What are UK ministers briefing ahead of the decision?

Downing Street said Cleverly briefed the Cabinet on Tuesday of “some of the possible scenarios” that the Supreme Court ruling could entail.

However, leaving the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) was not discussed at the meeting, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said. Braverman, who warned after her sacking that she had “more to say in due course”, has previously called for the UK to leave the ECHR.

Number 10 may be wary that she could stage an intervention and call for the UK to leave the convention if the Supreme Court rules against the Government.