Stephen R. Allen, Queen Mary, University of London. PLEASTE NOTE: THE DATE HAS BEEN CHANGED.
In 1965, against a background of UN-inspired decolonisation, the UK excised the Chagos Islands from the colony of Mauritius to create the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) in connection with the establishment of a US military facility on Diego Garcia. Consequently, the Chagos Islanders were involuntarily displaced to Mauritius, where they became chronically impoverished. The British sovereignty claim to the BIOT has long been challenged by Mauritius on the ground that the Chagos Islands were annexed in violation of its entitlement to colonial self-determination. This paper harnesses the competing claims to the Chagos archipelago in order to demonstrate the need for a more nuanced approach to the resolution of sovereignty disputes resulting from the legacy of European colonialism.