Supreme Court considers re-opening Chagos Islands case

On 22 June 2015, three members of Doughty Street Chambers appeared before the Supreme Court in R (on the application of Bancoult) (No 2) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. They represent Olivier Bancoult, one of the former residents of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean who were forcibly removed from their homeland more than 40 years ago to make room for a U.S. military base on the largest island, Diego Garcia. The legal team applied to set aside a 2008 judgment of the House of Lords upholding the Chagossians’ exclusion from the islands on the basis of a ‘feasibility study' commissioned by the Foreign Office. The application sought to reopen the case due to the injustice caused by material non-disclosure in the original case, as well as new evidence. Edward Fitzgerald QC , joint head of Doughty Street Chambers, led a team consisting of Paul Harris SC, a specialist in public law and former head of the Bar Human Rights Committee and Amal Clooneya barrister specialising in international law and human rights. The solicitors in the case were Clifford Chance. The Supreme Court reserved judgment.

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