The Chagos Archipelago Advisory Opinion


The Chagos Archipelago Advisory Opinion

Room 920, Level 9
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street


More information

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.


  • Professor Hilary Charlesworth (Chair)
  • Associate Professor Margaret Young
    Associate Professor Margaret Young, Director of Studies, Environmental Law
  • Professor Sundhya Pahuja
    Professor Sundhya Pahuja, Director of the Institute for International Law and the Humanities
  • Dr Emma Nyhan
    Dr Emma Nyhan, Research Fellow
  • Professor Matthew Craven
    Professor Matthew Craven, Professor if International Law