International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on the Chagos Islands: Seminar

March 18, 2019

Jill Barrett will chair a rapid response seminar today to discuss the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on the Chagos Islands.

On the 25th of February, the Court delivered its Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965. The Court found that the separation of the Chagos islands from the British colony of Mauritius was contrary to the right to self-determination and that the decolonization of Mauritius has thus not been completed in accordance with international law. As a result, it found that the UK’s continuing administration of the Chagos islands, including the atoll of Diego Garcia which houses a strategic US naval base, is a continuing internationally wrongful act, which must be brought to an end as rapidly as possible.

The seminar to be held this evening at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in London will consider the implications of the Advisory Opinion for the UK and Mauritius, as well as third States especially the USA. It will also look at where it leaves the Chagossian people; whether they have a right to self-determination in their own territory distinct from the rights of Mauritius, and whether it includes those Chagossians settled in the UK, the Seychelles and elsewhere.

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