Two last-minute legal challenges to block the British government’s deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda on Tuesday were heard by London courts.
The Court of Appeal began hearing arguments from two human rights groups and a trade union on Monday after a judge on Friday refused their request for an injunction blocking the flight taking off.
The development came as the number of people on the first removal flight on Tuesday fell to 11 from 37 individuals due to legal challenges.
The United Kingdom in April announced plans to send the first group of asylum seekers to Rwanda on June 14, as part of its policy designed to disrupt people-smuggling networks, and stem the flow of migrants across the Channel, TOS NEWS reported.
The agreed deal was in return for an initial payment of 120 million pounds ($148 million) and additional payments based on the number of people deported.
The move drew criticism from both within and outside Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party as well as from many charities.
The recent case is being heard by the same judge who on Friday rejected granting an injunction.
Justice Swift refused to grant interim relief, an urgent action in response to an injunction application made by several asylum seekers facing offshoring to Rwanda.
Swift said there was a “material public interest” in allowing the secretary of state to be able to implement immigration control decisions. He also said that some of the risks of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda outlined by the claimants were very small and “in the realms of speculation,” adding that even though the memorandum of understanding between UK and Rwanda was not legally enforceable, it was appropriate to take its contents into account.