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British exercise of territorial control over the Chagos Islands illegal

Mauritius v United Kingdom (PCA Case No. 2011-03)

Related Member(s):
Prof. Philippe Sands QC
Related Practice Area(s):
Arbitration, Public and Private International Law

The Permanent Court for Arbitration has ruled that Britain acted illegally in the way that it exercised territorial control over the Chagos Islands. The ruling has raised questions over the UK’s claim to sovereignty and has offered hope of return to hundreds of evicted islanders.  The ruling throws into doubt the UK assertion of absolute ownership; restricts the Americans’ ability to expand their military facility without Mauritian compliance and increases the chances of the evicted Chagossians being able to return to their home.