HRC Welcomes High Court’s Judgement on the Illegal Migration Act

May 13, 2024

The Human Rights Consortium welcomes today’s judgement from the High Court disapplying multiple provisions of the Illegal Migration Act in Northern Ireland due to their incompatibility with the Windsor Framework and declaring provisions incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.  

The challenge was brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) alongside an Iranian asylum seeker who is currently an unaccompanied minor residing in Northern Ireland. The case addressed serious concerns about the Act’s compatibility with both the Windsor Framework and fundamental human rights protections under the ECHR. 

Kevin Hanratty, Director, Human Rights Consortium, commented: “This is a good day for human rights and the rule of law. We are hopeful that this judgement has dealt a crucial blow to the immoral and unworkable Illegal Migration Act and that this has a knock on effect on the Rwanda Act. These are cruel laws that only exacerbate the vulnerabilities of people who are already at risk.”   

The judgement is a crucial affirmation of the protections guaranteed by the Windsor Framework, the European Convention of Human Rights via the Human Rights Act and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. It underscores the importance of ensuring that all legislation respects these commitments, especially in relation to the most vulnerable people in our society. 

“We thank the applicants for taking this important case and securing this victory and we are proud of the part we played with our colleagues in The PILS Project in submitting evidence in the case. We stand by our position that the UK Government should abandon its cruel approach to asylum and instead uphold its international and domestic human rights obligations.”  

We will be studying this judgement with colleagues in the coming days to see how we can continue to withstand the rollback on rights protections domestically and further afield. 



For media requests, please contact: 

The Human Rights Consortium 

Kevin Hanratty, Director, Human Rights Consortium at 


Notes for the editor: 

  1. The Human Rights Consortium is a coalition of 165 civil society organisations from across Northern Ireland who work together for the advancement and protection of human rights standards including the delivery on the Belfast/Good Friday commitment to a Bill of Rights. More information is available on our website at: 
  1. The summary of the judgement is available here 
  1. For more information, please see the briefing from the Human Rights Consortium and The PILS Project on the Illegal Migration Bill here. 



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