THE Scottish Government was not consulted on the Rwanda Bill despite concerns from a top lawyer that it tramples on the historic rights of the country’s top civil court, the Sunday National can reveal.

It has sparked fresh concerns the Home Office has failed to consider all the implications of the bill, as it races to push it through Parliament.

The UK Government is scrambling to pass legislation to press on with its flagship policy to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda, after ministers were dealt a blow in November when the Supreme Court blocked a ­previous bill on human rights grounds.

But The National previously revealed there are also concerns the bill conflicts with the rights of the Court of Session in Edinburgh, which are enshrined in the Act of Union.

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Now it has emerged the UK ­Government failed to engage with their counterparts north of the ­Border before pressing ahead with the ­“emergency” legislation.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry first raised concerns about the proposals – which would see courts blocked from ­considering whether Rwanda is a safe country – in November, saying they conflicted with the Court of Session’s right to exercise nobile officium.

This refers to the court’s power to consider legislation and put in ­mitigations against policies deemed overly harsh. Cherry said this could be erased by the Rwanda Bill and the Scottish ­Government has said it will “reflect” on her arguments.

She said: “It’s entirely typical that the Westminster Government hasn’t bothered to consult the ­Scottish ­Government or consider the ­constitutional implications of ousting the role of Scotland’s courts with this terrible bill.

“I will be continuing to press these points when the bill comes back to the Commons in the new year.”

The National: The emergency legislation passed on Tuesday night

Confirmation from the Attorney General that the UK Government had failed to consult Scotland on the bill came in response to a written ­question from Alba’s Westminster leader Neale Hanvey.

He has also been pressing the ­issue in the Commons and has said he will press the Scottish Government to challenge Westminster on the ­legislation.

Hanvey told the Sunday ­National: “While it is not surprising that the UK Government is invoking the ­convention of not disclosing ­legal ­advice it is noteworthy that no ­discussions have taken place between the English Attorney General and the Scottish Government on an ­issue of such fundamental importance as the impact of the Rwanda Bill on ­­Scotland’s distinctive legal system.

“The fact remains that the ­Rwanda Bill potentially impacts on the ­independence of the Scottish courts to uphold human rights as it sees fit.

“I will continue to pursue the UK Government to provide further ­clarity on this matter and to push the Scottish Government to raise this ­directly with the UK Government as it would appear that they have failed to do so hitherto.”

The National: Emma Roddick MSP 1 SA :..Emma Roddick MSP - Holyrood, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh...All images © Stewart Attwood Photography 2022.  All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission.

Emma Roddick, Scotland’s Refugees Minister (above), said: “We will reflect on the points made regarding the Court of Session. The Scottish Government is clear in our opposition to the [bill]. The UK Government should focus on improving the UK asylum system, so that people are treated fairly and with dignity and respect throughout the process.

“Scotland provides a welcome home to many refugees and ­people seeking asylum, and our ­approach is ­underpinned by values of ­dignity, ­fairness and respect. Only ­independence would give us full power over migration policy, and our Building a New Scotland paper on migration sets out our proposals for an asylum system rooted in respect for ­international law, human rights and social justice.”

The Court of Session was the ­battleground for Cherry’s ­successful legal challenge against Boris ­Johnson’s unlawful shut down of ­Parliament in 2019.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Government is committed to doing whatever it takes to stop the boats and get flights to Rwanda off the ground as soon as possible.

“That’s why we have addressed the Supreme Court’s findings, and brought forward the ­toughest ­immigration legislation ever ­introduced to Parliament.

“Immigration is a reserved ­matter for the UK Government. Where ­necessary and appropriate we will consult with the Scottish ­Parliament, Senedd Cymru or the Northern ­Ireland Assembly.”