Law allowing asylum seekers to be detained and sent to Rwanda disapplied by Northern Ireland court | Politics News

In a landmark decision, a Northern Ireland court has suspended certain sections of the UK’s new Illegal Migration Act, which included measures to transfer asylum seekers to Rwanda, citing human rights concerns.

The ruling, made by the Belfast High Court, rendered these sections invalid in Northern Ireland, emphasizing the impact they could have on rights protections established under post-Brexit agreements.

The act, which allowed for the detention and removal of individuals seeking asylum and deemed to have entered the UK unlawfully, highlighted Rwanda as a destination for these asylum seekers.

During the hearing, Mr Justice Humphreys took issue with parts of the act, pointing out their conflict with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

According to the Windsor Framework, any changes post-Brexit must respect the Good Friday Agreement’s commitment to human rights, without any diminution of rights, which is in contrast to the rest of the UK.

Justice Humphreys identified the act’s inconsistencies with the Good Friday Agreement’s rights protections as they pertain to asylum seekers in Northern Ireland.

“The applicants’ arguments are persuasive,” he remarked. “The provisions in question infringe upon the Rights, Safeguards, and Equality of Opportunity guaranteed by the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.”

The judge deemed that these contentious sections could not be applied in the territory of Northern Ireland.

Further, he stated the act was not in harmony with the ECHR.

The challenge against the legislation was presented by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission alongside a young Iranian asylum seeker, who made the perilous journey to the UK unaccompanied. Currently residing in Northern Ireland, he feared severe repercussions if returned to Iran.

While Mr Justice Humphreys has temporarily halted the ruling until a follow-up hearing scheduled for the end of May, Dr Tony McGleenan KC, speaking on behalf of the government, hinted at the potential for an appeal.

“The government will contemplate further action based on this judgment,” McGleenan commented to the court.

Stay tuned for more updates on this evolving news story.

To get the most recent version, refresh the page.

For instant news updates, download the Sky News app, follow @SkyNews on X, or subscribe to their YouTube channel.

Leave a Comment