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On 8 June 2022, four individual asylum seekers, together with the Public and Commercial Services Union, Detention Action, and Care4Calais, issued a claim for judicial review challenging the Secretary of State’s decisions to remove the individual claimants to Rwanda pursuant to her policy of removing asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda, as well as the lawfulness of the Rwanda removal policy itself.

On 10 June, the High Court granted permission for four additional asylum seekers to be added to the claim but refused the Claimants’ application for an interim injunction preventing the removal of the individual claimants on a charter flight scheduled to depart for Rwanda at 10:30pm on 14 June. 

On 13 June, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s refusal of interim relief. This decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, which refused permission to appeal on 14 June. 

On the evening of 14 June, the European Court of Human Rights granted an application for interim measures by one of the individual claimants and held that, in light of the real risk that he would suffer treatment contrary to his human rights, and in “the absence of any legally enforceable mechanism” to ensure his return to the UK in the event that the judicial review succeeds, the Court would grant the interim measure to prevent his removal “until the domestic courts have had the opportunity to first consider those issues”. 

As a result of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, none of the asylum seekers who were due to be removed to Rwanda on the 14 June charter flight have been removed and the flight was cancelled. The claimants’ judicial review challenge will be heard by the High Court next month. 

Jason Pobjoy, Will Bordell and Rayan Fakhoury are acting for the claimants in their claim for judicial review, and were also instructed in the application to the European Court of Human Rights. They are working with Raza Husain QC, Chris Buttler QC, Eleanor Mitchell, and Katy Sheridan of Matrix Chambers, as well as Anirudh Mathur of Littleton Chambers. They are instructed by Duncan Lewis. 

The ECHR press release can be downloaded here.

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