The Chagos Archipelago Advisory Opinion
Room 920, Level 9
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street
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The International Court of Justice handed down an Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius on 25 February. The Chagos Archipelago is a set of small islands set in the middle of the Indian Ocean, currently administered by the United Kingdom under the title British Indian Ocean Territories (BIOT). One of those islands – Diego Garcia – has been leased to the United States by the United Kingdom and is the site of a US military base.
The Advisory Opinion, requested by the UN General Assembly, questions the legality of the UK's insistence that the Chagos Islands be separated from Mauritius at the time of Mauritius’ independence in 1968. It offers important insights on the scope of the right to self-determination in international law.