Mauritius v United Kingdom

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Mauritius v United Kingdom
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Court Permanent Court of Arbitration
Court membership
Judges sitting

Professor Ivan Shearer (President)[1]
Judge Sir Christopher Greenwood CMG QC [1]
Judge Albert Hoffmann [1]
Judge James Kateka [1]

Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum [1]

Mauritius v United Kingdom was an arbitration case concerning the status of the Chagos Archipelago and the attempts of the United Kingdom government to create a Marine Protected Area in British Indian Ocean Territory.[1][2] The dispute was arbitrated by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Disputes over arbiters[edit]

In 2011 the government of Mauritius used the Permanent Court of Arbitration to challenge Sir Christopher Greenwood's role in the arbitration proceedings on the grounds that his role as a UK Foreign and Commonwealth legal adviser could bias him in favour of the United Kingdom's claims to the Chagos Islands. However this was rejected by the Court on the basis that this "neither constituted nor continued an already existing relationship." [3]

Dispute over jurisdiction[edit]

In 2013 the Permanent Court of Arbitration released a preliminary ruling rejecting a British claim that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case.[4]

Ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration[edit]

On the 18 March 2015, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that the Chagos Marine Protected Area was "not in accordance with the provisions of the Convention" and declared unanimously that in establishing the MPA surrounding the Chagos Archipelago the United Kingdom had breached its obligations under Articles 2(3), 56(2), and 194(4) of the Convention.[5]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The Republic of Mauritius v. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  2. Arbitrators Appointed in the Mauritius v UK Case concerning the Chagos Islands « EJIL: Talk!
  3. The American Society of International Law
  4. Bowcott, Owen; Vidal, John (January 28, 2013). "Britain faces UN tribunal over Chagos Islands marine reserve". The Guardian. Retrieved May 17, 2013. 
  5. IN THE MATTER OF THE CHAGOS MARINE PROTECTED AREA ARBITRATION - before - AN ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL CONSTITUTED UNDER ANNEX VII OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA - between - THE REPUBLIC OF MAURITIUS - and - THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND, decision of Permanent Court of Arbitration dated 18 March 2015, accessed 21 March 2015, paragraphs 544-547: "In concluding that the declaration of the MPA was not in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, the Tribunal has taken no view on the substantive quality or nature of the MPA or on the importance of environmental protection. The Tribunal’s concern has been with the manner in which the MPA was established, rather than its substance. It is now open to the Parties to enter into the negotiations that the Tribunal would have expected prior to the proclamation of the MPA, with a view to achieving a mutually satisfactory arrangement for protecting the marine environment, to the extent necessary under a “sovereignty umbrella”... DECLARES, unanimously, that in establishing the MPA surrounding the Chagos Archipelago the United Kingdom breached its obligations under Articles 2(3), 56(2), and 194(4) of the Convention.