In order to protect the rule of law, judicial independence, and human rights, we urge the House of Lords to support Lord German’s motion to decline to give the Rwanda Bill a Second Reading.

Read our full briefing here

On Monday 29 January, the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill will have another reading in the House of Lords. In our briefing, PLP argues that peers should decline the Second Reading for many reasons, including:

  • It doesn’t address the Supreme Court’s concerns about safety

This Bill requires all decision-makers to act as though Rwanda is a safe country, in spite of the UK Supreme Court’s impartial and evidence-based ruling only months ago that found the opposite. The Supreme Court was very clear that cultural and structural changes would be needed to make Rwanda safe. These changes have not occurred.

Therefore, Parliament is being asked to endorse legislation which puts at risk the lives and safety of some of the world’s most persecuted people and which breaches a number of the UK’s most important international commitments. This is not a Bill which respects the importance of human life and safety.

  • It threatens the British constitution

Given that the Bill almost entirely excludes judicial review and the ordinary role of the courts in enforcing the Human Rights Act 1998, it seriously undermines the balance between the judiciary, Parliament, and the Executive. The very limited judicial review which the Bill retains – challenges based on a person’s particular individual circumstances – do not provide adequate protection from harm. The Bill is a constitutional crisis in the making.

The Safety of Rwanda Bill is also, crucially, not a manifesto commitment of the Government. Therefore, the Salisbury Convention does not require that peers support the Bill’s Second Reading.

Given the Bill’s major constitutional and human implications, we urge peers to decline to give the Bill a Second Reading on Monday 29 January.