Home > Cases > Bashir & others v Administrator of the Sovereign Bases Areas [2011] Appeal No1

Samantha Broadfoot successfully appeared for the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus in the appeal in the case of Bashir & others v Administrator of the Sovereign Bases Areas [2011] Appeal No.1.

Samantha was admitted to the Bar of the Sovereign Base Areas in 2010 in order to appear in the application for judicial review in this territory, a British Overseas Territory.  The matter was heard on appeal in Cyprus in September 2011.  One of the issues was whether an international treaty extended by the British Government to the former British Colony of Cyprus during the time of British sovereignty over the island of Cyprus, continued to apply to that part of the territory remaining under British sovereignty, namely the Sovereign Base Areas.   Applying the House of Lords decision of R (Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth (No.2) [2009] AC 453 the Senior Judges’ Court of the SBAs considered that the correct question was whether the SBAs were a new political entity when Cyprus was granted independence in 1960, or was it, as argued by the Appellants, simply a relict of the old colony.  If the latter, the treaty would continue to apply.  The Senior Judges’ Court held that the correct approach was to look at all the circumstances surrounding the creation of the Republic and the SBAs in 1960.  The Court considered the terms of the Treaty concerning the Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, together with the “Declaration of Her Majesty’s Government regarding the Administration of the Sovereign Base Areas” commonly referred to as “Appendix O”, to be particularly important, as well as the Order in Council of 1960 setting up the constitution and the raft of new appointments created under it.

By a unanimous decision, (the three judge court below having been split 2:1 on the issue), the Senior Judges’ Court concluded that the SBAs were a new political entity from the former Colony of Cyprus.  Accordingly, the treaty extended to the former colony in 1956 ceased did not apply to it as a matter of international law.

A copy of the judgment can be found here.

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