This was another round in the long running series of cases brought by Mr Bancoult against the Foreign Secretary in respect of the British Indian Ocean Territory and the claims of the Chagossians removed from or unable to return to the territory following the decision during the Cold War in the 1960s to establish a US base on Diego Garcia. In this case – Bancoult III – the Claimant challenged the April 2010 decision of the Foreign Secretary to create a full no-take marine protected area in BIOT's 200 nm FCMZ/EPPZ. He alleged the decision was flawed by an improper motive (to prevent the return of Chagossians) said to be evidenced by a copy of a US cable from its London Embassy recording a meeting with BIOT officials in 2009 published by Wikileaks, failure to reveal in the public consultation that the Foreign Secretary's own consultants had advised in 2002 that resettlement of the population was feasible, failure to disclose in the consultation that the MPA proposal would adversely affect the historical or traditional fishing rights of Chagossians and fishing rights of Mauritius under public international law and, breached the UK's obligations under Article 198 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
The Court dismissed the Claimant's case in its entirety. It also made a preliminary ruling that the Wikileaks' document was inadmissible as a copy of an authentic US Embassy cable under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961.
Penelope Nevill acted for the Defendant (instructed by The Treasury Solicitor)