Mauritius v. United Kingdom

Chagos Archipelago British Indian Ocean Territory Chagos Marine Protected Area
Mauritius v. United Kingdom
CourtAn arbitral tribunal constituted under Annex VII to the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea
Full case nameAn Arbitration before an arbitral tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea between the Republic of Mauritius and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
DecidedMarch 18, 2015
Court membership
Judges sittingProfessor 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 a arbitral tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea. The Permanent Court of Arbitration was asked on the 31st of March 2011 to function as registry in the proceedings.[3]

Disputes over arbiters

In 2011 the government of Mauritius challenged 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 tribunal on the basis that this "neither constituted nor continued an already existing relationship." [4]

Dispute over jurisdiction

On the 15 January 2013 the tribunal released procedural order no. 2. In this order the tribunal rejected a British request that the tribunal should deal with British jurisdictional challenges in a preliminary phase.[5][6]

Award of the arbitral tribunal

On the 18 March 2015, the arbitral tribunal 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.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Republic of Mauritius v. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  2. ^ Arbitrators Appointed in the Mauritius v UK Case concerning the Chagos Islands « EJIL: Talk!
  3. ^ "In the Matter of the Chagos Marine Protected Area Arbitration - before - an Arbitral Tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea- between - the Republic of Mauritius - and - the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" (PDF). Permanent Court of Arbitration. 18 March 2015.
  4. ^ The American Society of International Law (Archived)
  5. ^ Bowcott, Owen; Vidal, John (January 28, 2013). "Britain faces UN tribunal over Chagos Islands marine reserve". The Guardian. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  6. ^ "PCA Press Release, The Republic of Mauritius v. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Permanent Court of Arbitration. January 22, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  7. ^ In the Matter of the Chagos Marine Protected Area Arbitration - before - an Arbitral Tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea- between - the Republic of Mauritius - and - the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, award of the arbitral tribunal dated 18 March 2015, accessed July 25, 2016, 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.