UK Government officially withdraws its refugee pushback policy, following legal challenge

29 April 2022

The Secretary of State for the Home Department has officially withdrawn her “pushback policy”, in which she directed Border Force officials to “pushback” small migrant boats attempting to cross the English Channel, following a challenge brought by Freedom from Torture, Care4Calais, the PCS union and Channel Rescue.

The case was due to be heard before a Divisional Court next week. Freedom from Torture challenged the policy on the basis that it was ultra vires, incompatible with the 1951 Refugee Convention, and incompatible with Articles 3 and 4 ECHR.

Sarah Dobbie acted for Freedom from Torture, with Raza Husain QC, Jason Pobjoy and Gayatri Sarathy, instructed by Leigh Day.

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