A Slight Revenge and a Growing Hope for Mauritius and the Chagossians: The UNCLOS Arbitral Tribunal’s Award of 18 March 2015 on Chagos Marine Protected Area (Mauritius v. United Kingdom)

Abstract : The recent award of 18 March 2015 puts an end to the arbitration esta- blished under Part XV of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea and its Annex VII, about the creation, by the United Kingdom, of a huge marine protected area around the Chagos islands. The proceedings – initiated by Mauritius- constitute a new page, this time at an international level, of the already very furnished litigation arising from the scandalous detachment of this isolated archipelago from the territory of the former British colony, and the removal of its entire population for defence interests. The award is substantially favourable to Mauritius and unanimously recog- nizes the incompatibility of the marine protected area (MPA) with articles 2(3), 56(2) and 194(4) UNCLOS. Even if it does not directly address the dispute regarding the sovereignty on the islands, it creates some fundamen- tal consequences on the whole issue, by declaring the Lancaster House Un- dertakings legally binding. It also brings an essential enlightenment on the interpretation of the rights and the compulsory dispute settlement mecha- nisms provided by the Montego Bay Convention. This article analyses the award and the reasoning followed by the panel, in connexion with the whole dispute and the law of the sea. It also pretends to demonstrate the important consequences of the decision.
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Submitted on : Monday, July 11, 2016 - 3:36:46 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 1:04:19 AM

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Géraldine Giraudeau. A Slight Revenge and a Growing Hope for Mauritius and the Chagossians: The UNCLOS Arbitral Tribunal’s Award of 18 March 2015 on Chagos Marine Protected Area (Mauritius v. United Kingdom). Revista de Direito Internacional, 2016, 12, ⟨10.5102/rdi.v12i2.3878 ⟩. ⟨hal-01344287⟩

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