Monthly archive January, 2019

The Chagos request and the role of the consent principle in the ICJ’s advisory jurisdiction, or: What to do when opportunity knocks

1. Introduction When the request for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 came to the International Court of Justice (ICJ or Court), a unique opportunity knocked on the doors of the Peace Palace. With its answer to the questions asked by the General...

Decolonisation revisited and the obligation not to divide a Non-Self-Governing Territory

1. Introduction A central question in the current ICJ advisory proceedings on Chagos is whether obligations existed to prevent Britain from separating the islands from the non-self-governing territory of Mauritius in 1965 prior to its independence in 1968. The Chagos archipelago is a group of small islands and atolls in the Indian Ocean, 2,200 km...

Reflections on the effectiveness of peremptory norms and erga omnes obligations before international tribunals…

By means of Resolution 71/292, of 22 June 2017, the United Nations General Assembly requested for an Advisory Opinion (AO) of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legal consequences of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965.[1] At the current stage in the proceedings the discussion that takes precedence concerns...

The concept of duress in the world of decolonization

1. Introduction 23rd September 1965, 10 AM, 10 Downing street, London: Discussions on the future of Mauritius. The United Kingdom (UK), the colonial power, represented by Prime Minister Harold Wilson is on one side and Premier Ramgoolam, acting on behalf of Mauritius, the colonial entity, on the other side of the negotiating table. The colonial...

Déjà Vu in The Hague – the relevance of the Chagos arbitral award to the proceedings before the ICJ

1. Introduction On 18 March 2015, an UNCLOS Annex VII tribunal constituted under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued its award in the Chagos Arbitration, finding that the UK’s establishment of a Maritime Protected Area (MPA) in the archipelago was in violation of international law.[1] The decision features among the documents attached...

Two points for the International Court of Justice in Chagos: Take the case, all of it – It is a human rights case

The International Court of Justice is currently deliberating in the case of Chagos. Two cardinal points are humbly put forward, with a view to support the Court in its deliberation. 1. First point: Take the case. All of it The International Court of Justice (ICJ or the Court) has developed a multitude of techniques over...