According to the Guardian, lawyers are sceptical that ECHR rules will be changed to accommodate the Government’s Rwanda policy. During a recent visit to the country’s capital, Kigali, Suella Braverman announced that she was “encouraged” by the government’s “constructive” talks with Strasbourg.
The ECHR’s rule 39 allows a judge to impose an injunction pending further legal proceedings to decide on the merits of a case.
These so-called interim measures are typically used to suspend an expulsion or extradition, often by asylum seekers who fear persecution if they are returned to their home country. Between 2020 and 2022, the ECHR granted 12 of 161 applications for interim measures against the UK government.
But Alice Donald, an associate professor of human rights law at Middlesex University, told the paper that she found it ‘“extremely hard to believe that the court would be willing to countenance any variation for the UK to be let off from complying with these urgent measures, or indeed would be willing to weaken the mechanism as a whole in order to placate the UK”.’
She added: ‘“I have to think that is government spin to suggest that.”’
Toufique Hossain, the director of public law at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, said the ECHR’s interventions were prompted by concerns that asylum seekers deported to Rwanda would not have access to fair and efficient procedures refugee status.
“These issues will be substantively considered by English courts,” he told the Guardian. “If the government has any respect for the rule of law, they will adhere to the rule 39 process.”