The Speaker
Sunday, 21 July 2024 – 07:50
Wreckage following demonstrations | Photo Credit: Roquex, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Week in Review: Major protests and unrest in France

In the UK

Rwanda policy ruled unlawful

Judges in the Court of Appeal ruled this week that it is unlawful to send asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda to have their asylum claims processed.

The ruling sees the continuation of a long legal battle over the government’s asylum policy and overturns a High Court ruling that previously said that Rwanda could be considered as a “safe third country” for migrants to be sent to.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman have both disagreed with the conclusions of the court and have said they remain committed to the policy. The decision, which will be at least a temporary setback to the government’s policy, is now likely to be appealed at the Supreme Court.

Goldsmith resigns

Lord Zac Goldsmith resigned as a government minister on Friday, a day after being named in a report for criticising the House of Commons privileges committee which had been investigating whether Boris Johnson lied to MPs.

In his resignation letter, Lord Goldsmith said he had been “horrified” by the government’s decision to step away from a number of environmental commitments domestically and on the world stage. Goldsmith accused Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in his letter of being “simply uninterested” in the environment.

In his response, Sunak said the UK “continues to play an important role globally in tackling climate change and preserving the environment”. Sunak also suggested in his reply at the time that Goldsmith had not apologised for his comments about the Privileges Committee.

Further afield

French protests

French cities have seen major unrest following the shooting of a teenager by a policeman during a traffic stop near Paris on Tuesday this week.

A French policeman was charged with homicide over the killing of a 17-year-old named as Nahel. The killing has led to unrest and violence across France, with multiple nights of clashes between protesters and law enforcement officials. Thousands of people have been arrested, while more than 45,000 police were deployed across France on both Friday and Saturday nights.

US Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action

The US Supreme Court ruled this week that ‘affirmative action’ should no longer take place – the consideration of race in admitting students to universities in the United States.

Affirmative action, also known as positive discrimination, has previously been seen as a measure to increase diversity and has been seen in policy since the 1960s. The policy had sparked some debate, with some viewing affirmative action as unconstitutional.

US President Joe Biden criticised Thursday’s court decision, saying “discrimination still exists in America” and said, “we cannot let this decision be the last word”.

The decision came the day before another landmark case in which the US Supreme Court said artists cannot be compelled to express messages which go against their religious beliefs. Judges ruled in favour of a graphic designer who had refused to serve same-sex couples on religious grounds.

Skip to content