Government should hold Rwanda flights until after judicial review, says lawyer

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The Government should wait until a judicial review is heard before attempting another deportation flight to Rwanda, a human rights lawyer has said.

Frances Swaine, who represents a man due to be flown to Rwanda, told BBC Breakfast that the Government should consider whether it is worth it “financially or legally” to attempt another flight.

It comes after the first flight taking migrants to Rwanda was cancelled at the last minute on Tuesday night following interventions from the European Court of Human Rights.

“The European Court of Human Rights has recommended that there are no other flights proposals put together until the substantial judicial review hearing into the whole policy is heard,” she said. “We’re expecting that that would take place in about six weeks’ time, during July, although we don’t have a firm date for it yet.

“And I think if I was the Government, which obviously I’m not, but if I was, I would be sitting back and thinking was it worth it, either from a financial or a legal perspective, to organise one of these very expensive flights again when they’ve been so unsuccessful this time around on legal grounds.

“Because there will be a decision in July as to whether or not this policy can be extant, or whether there would need to be some changes to the law if the Government was absolutely determined to see it through.

“But wait until we have the decision first and then decide whether to go ahead.”

She said she “understands” the frustrations of those who wanted the flight to go ahead.

“I can understand their frustration if I try to put myself in their shoes,” she said.

“I think the thing is that even they, presumably, would not wish to do something that was illegal. That’s what the process of going through the courts is. It’s looking at the law and determining whether or not what’s happening is legal for anybody – individuals, or for the government.

“I guess they’ll have to deal directly with other Conservatives, with Boris Johnson, with Priti Patel, in terms of whether or not they can do something that’s actually legal, because at the moment individuals have perfectly legally been taken off that plane.

“An assessment will need to be made on whether or not they can legally transport anybody else before there is a proper hearing in July about the policy itself.”

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