In order to reduce the number of illegal immigrants in the country, Great Britain charters deportation flights to Rwanda. The European Court of Human Rights stopped the project. "Scandalous" is what London calls the straddling of European institutions - although the ECtHR is not even part of the EU.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel has sharply criticized the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on deportation flights to Rwanda planned by London. "The opaque workings of this court are absolutely scandalous. That needs to be questioned," Patel told the Daily Telegraph. She assumes that the decision was "politically motivated".
This week, the British government wanted to bring asylum seekers who had entered Britain illegally to Rwanda for the first time. To this end, London has signed an agreement with the government in Kigali. People in the East African country are to be housed for money to deter other people from trying to cross the English Channel to Great Britain.
130 asylum seekers were originally supposed to be on board the flight late Tuesday night, but the number has been dwindling following a series of legal challenges over human rights concerns. Only a handful of migrants could have flown out of London on Tuesday. These deportations were finally stopped by the intervention of the Strasbourg ECtHR.
Patel now said in the newspaper interview that the government had not been informed of the identity of the responsible ECtHR judges. In addition, she was only able to see the full decision of the court later. Patel's view that the European court's decision has a political dimension fits into London's narrative of a threat to British sovereignty from European institutions. However, the ECtHR is not part of the European Union, from which Great Britain has left. The Court is the Council of Europe's judicial body and oversees compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights, which Britain co-authored in 1950.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under political pressure from a record number of refugees arriving. During the election campaign, he had announced a much stricter immigration policy after Brexit. His government is now considering revising Britain's human rights law to make deportations easier. This law has so far been based on the European Convention on Human Rights.