QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| THE QUEEN (on the application of
SOLANGE HOREAU and others)
|- and -
|SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS
Penelope Nevill and Adam Boukraa (instructed by The Government Legal Department) for the Defendant
Hearing dates: 11 August 2016
Crown Copyright ©
Mrs Justice Andrews:
i) how many Chagossians want to resettle in BIOT?
ii) The UK Government's latest assessment of the likely costs and liabilities to the UK taxpayer.
iii) Alternative options not involving resettlement that could respond to Chagossians' aspirations.
"it is important that we consult as widely as possible. While we know that many Chagossians do want to go back, it is important to recognise – as shown in the independent feasibility study and more recently – that some Chagossians are more interested in securing other forms of support in the places where they live. We should assess what we can do for everyone, not just those who are returning."
i) Ground 1 alleges that the consultation itself was legally flawed because it was carried out in breach of the Coughlan principles (see R v N North East and Devon HA ex parte Coughlan  QB 212 at ), or in breach of the common law duties of procedural fairness. It was said that whilst the consultation paper purported to consult on the "full range" of options to provide support to Chagossians to flourish in their current communities, this was a misrepresentation of the true position, because the Defendant was not prepared to pay direct financial support to those Chagossians who were not resettling.
ii) Ground 2 is that the DFS decision was irrational, because the Defendant was prepared to pay certain types of direct financial support to those who resettled, but not to those who remained behind. It is argued that the latter may have a much stronger need for such payments; that the making of financial support payments to those who remain would be far more cost-effective than paying those who resettle; and that without including the option of some form of financial support for those who remain behind, which might have an impact on a person's enthusiasm for resettlement, it would be impossible for the Defendant to carry out a proper comparative exercise assessing the costs benefits and desirability of resettlement options as compared to alternatives.
iii) Ground 3 is that the DFS decision was taken in breach of the Defendant's duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (known as the PSED). It is contended that there is no evidence that the Defendant had regard to the PSED before taking that decision. In the event that resettlement is permitted, the elderly and those who are disabled are likely to be disproportionately represented amongst those who are not allowed to resettle, and they would not be entitled to any of the types of financial support that would be available to those who do resettle.