• Mercy Hadfield

Success as Chagossians’ Appeal advances

The High Court, London

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has approved an application to appeal a High Court decision denying a Judicial Review of a controversial ministerial statement which continues to stymie Chagossian hopes of returning home.

A government decision in November 2016 rejected supporting a resettlement programe of the displaced Chagossians. An application by displaced Chagossians’ for a Judicial Review of this decision was rejected by the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court in December last year.

However a challenge to the High Court’s rejection of this application will now be able to advance after the Court of Appeal recognised the legitimacy of the arguments brought by the Chagossians, ruling that on 3 of the 4 grounds for appeal the Chagossians’ case had “a real prospect of success.”

The Chagossians successfully argued that the actions of the British Government may have constituted a human rights’ violation, that Ministers may have been mislead in the process by which the settlement package was decided and also that the previous ruling may not have sufficiently interrogated the decision making process of the Government.

The Lord Justices Underhill and Leggat cited in their ruling the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion from February of this year, Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965, which argued that the UK had acted illegally in separating the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 and as such must end its administration of Chagos immediately. The Justices held that the arguments in the opinion should be heard on appeal.

On the basis of this ruling the appeal of the High Court’s ruling will now be able to advance. If successful a Judicial Review of the ministerial statement could be ordered.”

#Chagos #Chagossians #Legal #HighCourt #OlivierBancoult #OliverBancoult

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