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Chagos: A Chance for the ICJ to do more for advancing human rights through the rule of law?

An objective of the St. Gallen workshop on the advisory opinion concerning the Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 was to discuss hidden and so far, untold perspectives and dynamics that have framed the Chagossians’ long legal struggle to return. In the following I focus on some untold...

Chagos and the ICJ – The Marine Protected Area

1. Introduction There has been considerable debate, presented before the International Court of Justice (ICJ or Court), regarding the scope of the request to the ICJ and the powers of the Court to express an opinion on the matter.[1] There does, however, seem to be general consensus in the arguments put before the ICJ, that...

Self-Determination and territorial integrity in the Chagos Advisory Proceedings: Potential broader ramifications

1. Introduction This paper considers the potential implications of the Chagos advisory proceedings in the International Court of Justice for other territorial situations.[1] At the heart of the advisory proceedings is the questionable lawfulness of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from the territory of Mauritius in 1965, three years before Mauritius gained its independence...

The British Indian Ocean Territory: International legal black hole?

1. Introduction Decolonization has changed the map of the world – creating not only more than a hundred newly independent States, but also new territorial units below the State level that continue to raise irritant questions of international law. One of those novel geographical and geopolitical constructs is the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) in...

La juridiction consultative à l’épreuve du principe consensuel: l’affaire des Effets juridiques de la séparation de l’archipel des Chagos de Maurice en 1965

1. Introduction L’article 65, par 1, du Statut de la Cour internationale de Justice, qui constitue la base de sa compétence en matière consultative, prévoit que ‘[l]a Cour peut donner un avis consultatif sur toute question juridique, à la demande de tout organe ou institution qui aura été autorisé par la Charte des Nations Unies...

An ICJ Advisory Opinion, basis for a negotiated settlement on the issues concerning the future of the Chagos Islanders and of the British Indian Ocean Territory

1. Introduction Behind the diplomatic and legal language of the United Nations (UNGA) resolution requesting the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an ‘Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965’ lie two relatively straightforward political issues – resettlement and sovereignty. Ultimately these can only be...

The Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Chagos Archipelago: An anticipatory analysis (Part I & II)

Introduced by Thomas Burri, Lucas Carlos Lima, Loris Marotti and Irini Papanicolopulu Advisory opinions rendered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ or Court) can greatly contribute to the clarification and the development of international law on account of different factors, such as the purview of the issues at stake, the subjects involved, and the...

‘False pretense of unity’ – A comment on the EU speaking with ‘one voice’ in trade negotiations in the field of biotechnology

1. Introduction The negotiations of Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA) has caused some to fear that EU standards of genetic modified organisms (GMO) regulation in the agri-food field will be watered down following the entry into force of the agreement.[1] In Alessandra Arcuri’s article ‘Is CETA keeping up with...

‘Establishing the existence of a dispute before the International Court of Justice’: Glimpses of flexibility within formalism?

1. Introduction Besides marking the celebrated 70th anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ or the Court), 2016 will stand out as the year in which the requirements for the determination of the most basic condition for the exercise of the Court’s contentious jurisdiction – the existence of a dispute – have been called...

Decentring the ICJ: A critical analysis of the Marshall Islands judgments

1. Introduction The aim of this reaction paper is to address some of the ideas raised by the masterful analysis of Professor Beatrice Bonafé, exposing them to a different method, a critical legal approach-based investigation of the discourse of the Court. Indeed, by adopting a different method, a different story can be told about the...

Establishing the existence of a dispute: A Response to Professor Bonafé’s criticisms of the ICJ

Victrix causa diis placuit sed victa Catoni. Lucan, Pharsalia, I.128.   1. Introduction In her paper published in QIL as basis of this Symposium, concerning the decision of the ICJ on the existence of a dispute in the Marshall Islands case,[1] Professor Bonafé, a modern Cato, embraces with enthusiasm the losing side.[2] She supports the...

‘Establishing the existence of a dispute before the International Court of Justice’: Between formalism and verbalism

1. Rather than a new approach, the Marshall Islands decisions are the culmination of a judicial trend towards formalism and verbalism ‘The Court, as a court of law, is called upon to resolve existing disputes between States. Thus, the existence of a dispute is the primary condition for the Court to exercise its judicial function’.[1]...