Statement by the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Avebury, on the decision by the Foreign Secretary to appeal against the decision in the
This last-minute appeal against the decision of the High Court in favour of the Chagos Islanxders comes after the Government had asked for two extensions of time. The decision to lodge the appeal comes at the 11th hour of the second extension, at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, when no doubt they hope it will be ignored by the media. If they had a good case, that wouldn’t have been necessary.
The decision to evict the Chagos Islanders from their territory using an Order in Council 40 years ago was inhumane, and a breach of human rights and of international law. There is no precedent for using the ancient powers of the Crown to remove a whole population of British subjects from their homes and place of birth.
Is this another example of the Government’s determination to put the judges in their place, and by hook or by crook overturn judgements they don’t like?
Or is it merely an illustration of their subservience to
This is a political case, and Parliament should defend the rights of the islanders, as well as the integrity of the judiciary against a Government case based on lies at the United Nations and an assertion of arbitrary power in our courts.