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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: February 2021

1 - Introduction


The separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965, and its setting aside by the UK ‘for defence purposes’,1 was the precursor to a human tragedy. The covert expulsion of the Chagossians from their homeland in the years that followed has been described as ‘unhappy – indeed, in many respects, disgraceful’ (by one of the UK’s most senior judges),2 ‘sordid’ and ‘morally indefensible’ (by a former British Foreign Secretary)3 and ‘shameful and wrong’ (by counsel for the UK in the International Court of Justice (ICJ)).4

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