The Chagos Islands Case, WikiLeaks and Justice

Let this be a lesson to its detractors, doubters and stuffed shirts of the secrecy establishment: the documents sourced from WikiLeaks can have tangible, having significant value for ideas and causes. They can advance matters of the curious; they can confirm instances of the outrageous and they can add to those fabulous claims that might change history.  While Julian Assange and the publishing organisation have been sniped at for being, at various instances, dangerous, unduly challenging and even less than significant (odd, no?), its documentary legacy grows.

Nowhere has there been a tangible demonstration of this than the issue of litigation.  With gradual but relentless commitment, advocates and activists have been introducing documents obtained from WikiLeaks into court proceedings.  The judicial benches have not always been consistent on how best to cope with the adducing of such matters.  Would, for instance, a document obtained improperly still be relevant in proceedings?  Or should be excluded on grounds of confidentiality?  This state of affairs sits oddly with reality, but then again, the law is more often a fiction that resists reality.

The technological imperative here should be obvious.  Such documents lose their factual character of confidence the moment they appear on the website, however obtained.  Millions have the means to access it, even if, legally, the document might retain a certain character.  In this regard, state officials remain…

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