Article (electronic)

R (on the application of Bancoult No 3) v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (U.K. Sup. Ct.) (2018)

in: International legal materials: ILM, Volume 57, Issue 4, p. 671-707

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On February 8, 2018, the U.K. Supreme Court delivered its judgment in R (Bancoult No 3) v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The case concerned a challenge to the validity of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) extending 250,000 square miles around the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT or Chagos Archipelago). Declared in 2010, the MPA was justified on the ground of environmental protection and resulted in a ban on all commercial fishing in this zone. The appellant alleged that the MPA had been established for an improper purpose—to prevent the Chagos Islanders from resettling the Archipelago. He claimed that this was evidenced by a diplomatic cable sent from the U.S. embassy in London. It recorded a 2009 meeting in which U.S. and British officials discussed the reasons behind the MPA. The cable was subsequently leaked via the WikiLeaks website and published in two national newspapers. Accordingly, as Lady Hale rightly observed, "[t]he crucial legal issue in this case is therefore the admissibility of the cable."




Cambridge University Press (CUP)

ISSN: 1930-6571