Lord Sumption has criticised government plans to use a law to declare Rwanda as safe in a bid to effectively override the Supreme Court’s decision.
According to reports, officials are working to broker a new legally binding treaty on top of the £140 million deal already struck with Kigali after five top justices ruled against the policy on Wednesday.
It comes amid warnings that a failure to “stop the boats” could hit the Conservatives badly at the next general election, which is expected within a year.
Speaking to the BBC, Lord Sumption, a former Supreme Court judge, described the plan as “profoundly discreditable”, saying using a law to declare Rwanda as safe would be “constitutionally really quite extraordinary”.
He argued it will “effectively overrule a decision on the facts, on the evidence, by the highest court in the land”.
Often a critic of the human rights court in Strasbourg, the peer said the plan “won’t work internationally. It will still be a breach of the Government’s international law obligations”.
But the new home secretary, James Cleverly, has dismissed the criticism, telling Radio 4’s Today programme: “Find me two lawyers and I will give you three opinions.
“Lawyers argue all the time, that’s literally what they do. I have very eminent lawyers who take a different view.”