Archive for October, 2007
We’ve just heard that the House of Lords has agreed to hear the Government’s appeal against May’s Appeal Court decision, which upheld the quashing of orders banning the islanders from going home.
But (and it’s a fairly big but) the Lords have taken the case on one condition – that the Foreign Office pays all the costs, whether it wins or loses.
It’s quite a strong early indication of the Lords’ feelings on this case, and it leaves the FCO with a dilemma.
With more than Â£2 million already spent on legal action against the islanders, taking this case forward would be an even bigger waste of public funds. The FCO has until Tuesday 6 November to decide what to do.
Instead of delaying justice yet again and throwing away more money, the Government now has a chance to start righting the wrong.
After more than twenty years of debate, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted a declaration upholding the rights of indigenous people, including their right to restitution or compensation for land that is taken away from them.
The UK welcomed the declaration, saying: “We recognise that indigenous peoples have suffered many historic injustices and continue to be amongst the poorest and most marginalised peoples of the world…”
…But the statement went on to say that the UK and its territories do not have any indigenous people.
Of course, it’s easy to “recognise” an injustice if you don’t recognise the victims…