The Chagos Archipelago Advisory Opinion
Room 920, Level 9
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street
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), Melbourne Law School
Professor Hilary Charlesworth (Chair)
Melbourne Law School
Hilary Charlesworth is a Melbourne Laureate Professor at Melbourne Law School. She is also a Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University. Her research includes the structure of the international legal system, peacebuilding, human rights law and international humanitarian law and international legal theory, particularly feminist approaches to international law. Hilary received the American Society of International Law’s award for creative legal scholarship for her book, coauthored with Christine Chinkin, The Boundaries of International Law. She was also awarded, with Christine Chinkin, the American Society of International Law’s Goler T. Butcher award for ‘outstanding contributions to the development or effective realization of international human rights law’. Hilary has held both an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship (20052010) and an ARC Laureate Fellowship (20102015). Hilary has been a visiting professor at various institutions including Harvard Law School, New York University Global Law School, UCLA, Paris I and the London School of Economics. She is a member of the Executive Council of the Asian Society of International Law and a past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law. Hilary was appointed by the Australian government in 2015 to a second term as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. She is an associate member of the Institut de Droit International and served as judge ad hoc in the International Court of Justice in the Whaling in the Antarctic Case (20112014). In 2016 Hilary was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.
Associate Professor Margaret Young, Director of Studies, Environmental Law
Associate Professor Margaret Young
Director of Studies, Environmental Law
Melbourne Law School
Margaret A Young (PhD, LLM, LLB, BA Hons) researches and lectures in international law. She is the author of Trading Fish, Saving Fish: The Interaction between Regimes in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Regime Interaction in International Law: Facing Fragmentation (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and, with colleagues from Melbourne Law School, The Impact of Climate Change Mitigation on Indigenous and Forest Communities (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Dr Margaret Young joined Melbourne Law School in 2009. She was previously the William Charnley Research Fellow in Public International Law at Pembroke College and the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge, where she also lectured in Cambridge's LLM course on WTO law. She has worked at the World Trade Organisation (Appellate Body Secretariat) and the United Nations International Law Commission, is a former associate to the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, and has practised as a solicitor at a major Australian national law firm. She is the author of Trading Fish, Saving Fish: The Interaction between Regimes in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2011), which was awarded the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Academy of Environmental Law Junior Scholar Prize in 2012 and the University of Melbourne Woodward Medal in Humanities and Social Sciences in 2016. Her edited collection Regime Interaction in International Law: Facing Fragmentation (Cambridge University Press, 2012) includes contributions from leading international, comparative and constitutional law scholars and is based on the conference she convened at the University of Cambridge on Regime Interaction in International Law: Theoretical and Practical Challenges. Her latest book, coauthored with colleagues from the Melbourne Law School, is The Impact of Climate Change Mitigation on Indigenous and Forest Communities (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Dr Young holds a PhD and an LLM from the University of Cambridge and a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and has been a Visiting Scholar at Columbia Law School. Her graduate studies were supported by a number of awards, including the Gates Scholarship, the Commonwealth Scholarship and a scholarship from the Modern Law Review. In 2016, she was the Director of Studies for public international law at the Hague Academy of International Law. Dr Young currently serves as an expert for the E15 Initiative convened by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum, and she one of the international legal experts who met in Paris in 2017 to finalize a draft preliminary text for the ‘Global Pact for the Environment’.
Professor Sundhya Pahuja, Director of the Institute for International Law and the Humanities
Professor Sundhya Pahuja
Director of the Institute for International Law and the Humanities
Melbourne Law School
Sundhya Pahuja is the Director of Melbourne Law School's Institute for International Law and the Humanities (IILAH). Her research focuses on the history, theory and practice of international law in both its political and economic dimensions. She has a particular interest in international law and the relationship between North and South, and the practice, and praxis, of development and international law. Sundhya has been awarded the American Society of International Law Certificate of Merit (2012), the Woodward Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and Social Sciences (2014) and a Fulbright Senior Scholar award which she took up in 2016 at the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School. In 2017, Sundhya will hold a fellowship at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS) in South Africa. Sundhya has been invited to give the 2018 Lauterpacht Lectures at the University of Cambridge. From 2012 – 2015, Sundhya concurrently held a Research Chair in Law at SOAS, University of London, and in 2014, served as Director of Studies in Public International Law at the Hague Academy of International Law. She has held visiting appointments at the LSE, NYU and UBC, currently serves as core faculty at the Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy Workshop, as Affiliate Faculty of the European Collaborative Doctoral Programme in Globalisation and Legal Theory, and holds Visiting Chairs at Birkbeck and SOAS. Sundhya's published works include the books, Decolonising International Law: Development, Economic Growth and the Politics of Universality(Cambridge University Press, 2011), as well as the edited collections, Reading Modern Law: Critical Methodologies and Sovereign Formations (Routledge, 2012) (coedited with Ruth Buchanan and Stewart Motha), and Events: The Force of International Law (Routledge, 2011) (coedited with Fleur Johns and Richard Joyce). Sundhya is currently writing a book on International Development with Ruth Buchanan and Luis Eslava as part of the RoutledgeCavendish Critical Approaches to Law series. Her current projects also include an Australian Research Council funded project on International Law and the Cold War, with Gerry Simpson and Matthew Craven, and a large project on the history of the corporation in international law from the early modern period to the present day. Sundhya was a founding member of the Legal Theory Interest group of the European Society of International Law, and the trilingual network Global Justice/Injustice with Emmanuel Jouannet and Albane Geslin (Sciences Po), and serves on the editorial board of the Australian Feminist Law Journal, and of the editorial advisory board of several journals including Humanity, the Melbourne Journal of International Law, the Law, Social Justice and Global Development Journal (LGD, the City University of Hong Kong Law Review, and the London Review of International Law. Sundhya teaches across public international law, international law and development, trade, development and human rights, globalization and law, and legal theory, and serves as the Director of Studies in the Melbourne Law Masters in Public International Law and Law and Development, and as codirector of studies in Public and International Law. Sundhya is interested in questions of pedagogy and speaks regularly on questions of research supervision and methodologies. In 2015, together with Luis Eslava, she was the University of Melbourne’s nominee for the Australian Awards for Teaching Excellence. Sundhya also supervises doctoral students in the areas; of international law and legal theory; heterodox economics, law and development; development and migration; international law, visual culture and theories of globalisation; environmental rights and international migration law. She welcomes research proposals from students interested in critical and theoretical approaches to topics within any of her areas of research interest. For several years Sundhya chaired the Committee of Management at the Darebin Community Legal Centre in Melbourne. Before entering academia, Sundhya practiced as a commercial lawyer, and worked as a research associate in international law and human rights at the EUI in Florence.
Dr Emma Nyhan, Research Fellow
Dr Emma Nyhan
Melbourne Law School
Emma Nyhan is a research fellow on the ARCfunded project ‘The Potential and Limits of International Adjudication: The International Court of Justice and Australia’ led by Professor Hilary Charlesworth and Associate Professor Margaret Young. Emma assists with research on legal issues in topic areas such as the role of international adjudication, the background to Australian litigation before the ICJ, and the impact of the cases in which Australia has been involved. She also assists with the administration of the project. Emma recently received a PhD from the European University Institute, Italy. Her doctoral dissertation, ‘Indigeneity, Law and Terrain: The Bedouin Citizens of Israel’, explored the ways in which the international concept of indigenous peoples came to be applied to the Bedouin in Israel. Her research pursues a sociolegal agenda and employs legal, historical and anthropological methodologies. Her doctoral studies were supported by awards from the SocioLegal Studies Association and the Council for British Research in the Levant. Emma qualified as a barrister at the Honorable Society of King’s Inns, Ireland. She holds a Master of Laws in comparative, European and international laws from the European University Institute, Italy, and a Master of Laws in pension law from the Universität Konstanz, Germany. Emma received a Bachelor of Laws and German from University College Cork, Ireland. She has been a visiting scholar at New York University, USA, The College of Management Academic Studies, Israel and Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Spain. Emma spent a number of years engaged in law centres in Ireland, Belgium, Israel, and the United States.
Professor Matthew Craven, Professor if International Law
Professor Matthew Craven
Professor if International Law
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Matthew Craven is former Dean of the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences and Professor of International Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He is a member of Matrix Chambers, Founding Editor of the London Review of International Law and Director of the Centre for the Study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law. His current research interests lie in the field of international legal history and legal theory, focusing, in particular, on the Cold War. He is author/editor of a number of books including The Decolonisation of International Law (2007), Time, History and International Law (2007), Interrogating the Treaty (2005) and The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1995). Matthew has published articles on a wide range of topics including statehood and selfdetermination, the law of treaties and human rights.