Baker McKenzie, acting for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as interveners in proceedings, welcomes the Court of Appeal decision handed down today with regard to the UK’s Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda.
UNHCR intervened in an appeal, brought by 10 individual asylum seekers and a charity, Asylum Aid, against the judgment of the Divisional Court which had rejected challenges to the policy of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to relocate certain asylum seekers to Rwanda.

In its oral and written submissions to the court, UNHCR expressed its longstanding and well-known concerns about the “externalization” of asylum obligations. 
By a majority, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the Divisional Court, and allowed the appeal.
The first flight due to transport asylum seekers to Rwanda was cancelled in June 2022 after a series of interventions by domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights. 
The Baker McKenzie team, which worked on this case pro bono, was led by Disputes Partner and London head of the firm's Regulatory, Public & Media law team, Jo Ludlam, Disputes Associates Lucy Player-Bishop, Natalie Haydon and Olivia Strafford, and trainee Cristina Thornton.
Jo Ludlam commented:
“I am extremely proud to have worked with UNHCR on this case, which has demanded the greatest tenacity, skill and determination from a brilliant team. It’s no overstatement to say that UNHCR conducts truly vital work, and I am privileged to share in this milestone today.” 
Angus McCullough KC of 1 Crown Office Row, Laura Dubinsky KC and Agata Patyna of Doughty Street Chambers, David Chirico of One Pump Court Chambers and Jennifer MacLeod, Aarushi Sahore and Joshua Pemberton of Brick Court Chambers, acted as Counsel to UNHCR. They are instructed by Baker McKenzie.
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