Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH
02 April 2015
Dear Mr Donnelly, Your Freedom Of Information Request: 0117-15
Thank you for your request for information which we received on 4 February 2015 and
further to my letter of 4 March. In your request you asked for;
Since 1999, what has been the total cost to the Government of legal
action opposing Chagossians' right to return to the Chagos Islands and defending the
legality of Orders-in-Council issued in 2004 which prevented unauthorised entry into
the British Indian Ocean Territory?
Please include a breakdown of all costs associated with different
legal actions, defences and appeals including (but not limited to)
the High Court case in the year 2000, the 2006 High Court case
which overturned the 2004 Orders-in-Council, the 2008 Court of
Appeal case which upheld the 2006 High Court decision, the 2008
appeal to the House of Lords Judicial Committee and the European
Court of Human Rights case which concluded in 2012 in favour of the
To be clear, please also include the legal aid costs associated with the above cases
and any other legal action the Government has taken on these issues.
Please adjust these figures for inflation.
I can confirm that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office does hold information falling within
the terms of your request.
The FOI Act obliges us to respond to requests promptly, and in any case no later than 20
working days after receiving your request. However, when a qualified exemption applies to
the information and the public interest test is engaged, the Act allows the time for response
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is reasonable in all circumstances of the case. We do, of course, aim to make all decisions
within 20 working days, including in cases where we need to consider where the public
interest lies in respect of a request for exempt information. In this case, however, we have
not yet reached a decision on where the balance of the public interest lies.
In your case we estimate that it will take an additional
20 days to take a decision on where
the balance of the public interest lies Therefore, we plan to let you have a response by
5 May. If it appears that it will take longer than this to reach a conclusion, we will keep you
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Assistant Legal Adviser
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