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British Indian Ocean Territory: Legal Opinion

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 157126, tabled on 23 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February 2021 to Question 153250 on British Indian Ocean Territory: Legal Opinion, if he will publish the costs broken down by (a) Government Legal Department costs, as well as counsel fees, in respect of the arbitral proceedings brought by Mauritius under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, (b) the advisory proceedings before the International Court of Justice, (c) relevant domestic litigation and (d) the UK's contribution to the cost of the tribunal established for the arbitral proceedings brought by Mauritius.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

2 March 2021

According to the available records, the FCDO has spent £5,841,662 on external legal services relating to disputes concerning the British Indian Ocean Territory.

This cost is broken down as follows:

(a) £681,220 in Counsel fees in respect of the arbitral proceedings brought by Mauritius under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;

(b) £311,942.31 in Counsel fees and £15,173.69 in Government Legal Department (GLD) costs in respect of the advisory proceedings before the International Court of Justice;

(c) £4,008,826 in GLD costs, including Counsel fees, in respect of relevant domestic litigation; and

(d) £824,500 as the UK's contribution to the cost of the tribunal established for the arbitral proceedings brought by Mauritius.

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