Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965
113 Am. J. Int'l L. 784, 2019
9 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2019
Date Written: November 12, 2019
Decolonization and its quite valid discontents lay at the center of the recent International Court of Justice advisory opinion regarding the territory and populations of the Chagos Archipelago, located in the Indian Ocean. Answering questions posed by the UN General Assembly, the concluded that because these islands were detached from Mauritius as a condition of independence, the decolonization of Mauritius had not been completed in accordance with international law. The Court further ruled unlawful the United Kingdom's continued administration of the Chagos Archipelago and called upon all UN member states to aid completion of the decolonization process. As detailed in this essay, the advisory opinion contained significant pronouncements on decolonization, on the right of all peoples to self-determination, and on the formation of customary rules respecting both.
Keywords: International Court of Justice, Decolonization, Peoples’ Right of Self-Determination, Advisory Opinions, Customary International Law
JEL Classification: K19, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation