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UK’s ‘colonial’ stance on Chagos Islands might derail court docket bid

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The UK’s ‘colonial method’ Chagos Islands could additional undermine hopes {that a} British QC shall be appointed chief prosecutor on the Worldwide Legal Courtroom following the Fatou Bensouda.

Karim Khan is the present favourite for the publish. However the UK refusal to recognize two unfavorable judgments of an international courts on possession of the Chagos Islands, a territory claimed by the British within the Indian Ocean, thwarted consensus plans round Khan for the publish.

Members of the UN Meeting of States Events, the ICC’s administration oversight physique, have now agreed to carry a secret poll through which Khan and two different candidates from Eire and Spain shall be chosen by secret poll.

Mauritius Ambassador to the UN Jagdish Koonjul wrote to all related UN delegations on Monday expressing concern over Britain’s method to worldwide legislation.

He stated he was pressured to behave after receiving information of a press release from the UK Ministry of Protection saying the UK wouldn’t act on a UN Maritime Tribunal ruling claiming that Mauritius – not the UK – was sovereign over the Chagos Islands.

The Ambassador has now written to all related UN delegations expressing concern over Britain’s method to worldwide legislation.

Koonjul advised The Guardian: “75 years in the past the UK was on the forefront of UN establishment constructing and the significance of upholding the rule of worldwide legislation, in addition to the necessity to full decolonization.

“We discover it so disappointing that the UK has now taken a 180 diploma reverse stance. It is rather troublesome for the UK to assert the precise to guide worldwide our bodies just like the ICC. Its gentle energy is so weakened.

The brand new chief prosecutor shall be a key determine within the years to come back, because the ICC tries to take care of its credibility and status by bringing extra circumstances to prosecution – in addition to by addressing delicate points corresponding to jurisdiction. on battle crimes in Palestine. A British ICC chief would even be a diplomatic increase for the UK in a post-Brexit world.

Mauritius claims UK failed to just accept two rulings from worldwide courts on island property, together with the one published last month by the UN Maritime Tribunal. Diego Garcia, one of many islands of the archipelago, is used as a US army base.

On January 28, the particular chamber of the Worldwide Maritime Courtroom (Worldwide Tribunal for the Legislation of the Sea) concluded that the UK had no sovereignty over the Chagos Islands, saying that an earlier advisory choice of the Worldwide Courtroom of Justice (ICJ) had authorized impact. “And that” though the method of decolonization shouldn’t be but accomplished, the sovereignty of Mauritius over the Chagos Archipelago may be deduced from the determinations of the ICJ “.

Koonjul referred to a brand new parliamentary written response from Protection Minister James Heappey through which he stated the maritime tribunal’s choice had no impression on the UK, because the case was introduced by Mauritius in opposition to the Maldives.

In his response, Heappey wrote: “We have now no doubts about our sovereignty over the territory of the British Indian Ocean Territory, which has been below steady British sovereignty since 1814.

“Mauritius has by no means held sovereignty over the archipelago, and we don’t acknowledge its declare. We have now lengthy been dedicated to ceding sovereignty of the territory to Mauritius when it’s not wanted for protection functions. We respect this dedication. As a result of UK sovereignty over the territory, the legal guidelines and rules in pressure in its 12 nautical mile territorial sea are these adopted in reference to the governance of a British Abroad Territory. Mauritius nationwide legal guidelines and rules don’t apply. “

Shadow Overseas Secretary Lisa Nandy, in a letter to Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab, stated the UK place “damages Britain’s repute, undermines your credibility and ethical authority and units a harmful precedent that others might seize to undermine British nationwide pursuits, these of our allies, in different maritime contexts or conflicts ”.

She added: “I’m additionally disturbed to study that the federal government’s place on the Chagos Islands has been greeted with severe concern by worldwide allies who’ve lengthy seen the UK as a dependable associate, however who’ve discovered that latest authorities actions fell wanting the mark. your rhetoric.

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