As the Rwanda Bill returns to the Lords, the Joint Committee on Human Rights has published its report, agreeing with PLP and others that the Bill is “fundamentally incompatible” with the UK’s human rights obligations.

Read PLP’s evidence

Although the Lords are considering amendments to the Bill during Committee Stage, the Committee has declined to even offer amendments to make Bill compatible with human rights. They have stated that “any such amendment would inevitably be inconsistent with the Bill’s central purpose.”

As PLP argued in our written evidence, neither the Bill nor the treaty alter the reality that Rwanda is not a safe country for individuals subject to removal. The report mentioned some of PLP’s other objections to the Bill: it will also undermine the constitutional role of domestic courts and threaten access to justice.

Here are three key findings from the committee’s report:

  • Neither the treaty nor the Bill eliminate the risk of refoulement
  • The limited right of legal challenge in the Bill still sets too high a threshold, especially when many individuals will struggle to access legal advice
  • No amendments were offered to make the Bill human rights compatible because “any such amendment would inevitably be inconsistent with the Bill’s central purpose” 

The Bill inherently runs roughshod over the UK’s human rights obligations, international commitments, and internal constitutional balance. We urge Peers to bear the JCHR report in mind as they consider amendments to the Bill.

Read PLP’s evidence to the committee and our previous briefing ahead of the Second Reading.