The Supreme Court of the British Indian Ocean Territory (“BIOT”) has today handed down judgment in VT, CT & Ors v Commissioner for the BIOT (BIOT SC/No.3/2023). This was an application for judicial review of the Defendant’s refusal to determine claims for legal aid on behalf of ten impecunious asylum seekers who have been held on the island of Diego Garcia since October 2021. The Supreme Court held that the statutory and common law rights to legal aid in English law also apply in BIOT, contrary to the submissions of the Commissioner.
The judgment is available here.
Ben Jaffey KC and Natasha Simonsen acted for the Third to Tenth Claimants.