Professor and Associate Dean Milena Sterio published a blog post entitled “ICJ Advisory Opinion in the Chagos Archipelago Case: Self-Determination Re-Examined?” on Intlawgrrls. In this post, Professor Sterio discusses the International Court of Justice’s recent advisory opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965.
The Chagos Islands were part of the colony of Mauritius, administered by the United Kingdom. Prior to Mauritian independence in 1968, the U.K. separated the Chagos Islands from Mauritius, in order to allow the U.S. to build a military base on Diego Garcia (one of the Chagossian islands). The U.K. forcefully relocated inhabitants of Diego Garcia, so that the U.S. could proceed to build its military base. In the ICJ advisory opinion discussed in this blog post, the world court held that the decolonization of Mauritius was not lawfully completed, and that the U.K. was under the obligation to end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago, including Diego Garcia (the site of the U.S. military base). The case is big loss to the U.K. and may have an impact on the U.S. (the U.S. may be required to relocate its military base).