First Chagos, then Cyprus? Cyprus Gains Legal Tool in ICJ Ruling on Chagos Islands

Constantinos Yiallourides

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


The UK has been told by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to end its administration of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean and relinquish them back to Mauritius as soon as possible. The ICJ advisory opinion was based on the fact that the colony of Mauritius agreed to the excision of the Chagos Islands from its territory when it was under the authority of the UK. Similarly, when the colony of Cyprus attained independence from the British rule in 1960, the Treaty it signed with Britain established two large British sovereign bases on the island, which remain to this day, occupying nearly three per cent of the island. That agreement could also now be challenged on the basis that, like Chagos detachment agreement, it was signed under conditions which were far removed from what could be considered as an ‘exercise in free will’ of the people of Cyprus.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • Chagos
  • ICJ advisory opinion
  • Mauritius
  • Cyprus
  • self-determination
  • decolonisation
  • Sovereign base areas


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