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ICJ Press Release on public hearings on the separation of Chagos from Mauritius

08.08.2018

LALIT is pleased for the interest of our visitors,  to publish the  Press Release from the International Court of Justice announcing the schedule of the historical hearings on the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965, 3 years prior to Independance. The Press Release also gives a brief History of the proceedings since June 2017.


INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
Peace Palace, Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ The Hague, Netherlands
Tel.: +31 (0)70 302 2323 Fax: +31 (0)70 364 9928
Website: www.icj-cij.org Twitter Account: @CIJ_ICJ YouTube Channel: CIJ ICJ
LinkedIn page: International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Press Release


No. 2018/39


1 August 2018


 Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965 (Request for Advisory Opinion)  The Court will hold public hearings from Monday 3 to Thursday 6 September 2018


  THE HAGUE, 1 August 2018. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will hold public hearings on the request for advisory opinion in respect of the Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius  in 1965 from Monday 3 to Thursday 6 September 2018, at the Peace Palace in The Hague, seat of the Court.


 Twenty-two States and the African union have expressed their intention of participating in the oral proceedings before the Court. These States are, in alphabetical order: Argentina, Australia, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Cyprus, Germany, Guatemala, India, Israel, Kenya, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Vanuatu and Zambia. 


  The schedule for the hearings adopted by the Court is as follows:


 Monday 3 September 2018   10 a.m.-1 p.m.:    Mauritius (3 hours)


       1 p.m.-3 p.m.:    Break


      3 p.m.-6 p.m.:    United Kingdom (3 hours)


 Tuesday 4 September 2018   10 a.m.-10.40 a.m.:   South Africa (40 minutes)


      10.40 a.m.-11.20 a.m.:   Germany (40 minutes)


      11.20 a.m.-11.40 a.m.:   Break


      11.40 a.m.-12.20 p.m.:   Argentina (40 minutes)


      12.20 p.m.-1 p.m.:    Australia (40 minutes)


       1 p.m.-3 p.m.:    Break    


       3 p.m.-3.40 p.m.:    Belize (40 minutes)


      3.40 p.m.-4.20 p.m.:   Botswana (40 minutes)


        4.20 p.m.-4.40 p.m.:   Break


      4.40 p.m.-5.20 p.m.:   Brazil (40 minutes)


      5.20 p.m.-6 p.m.:    Cyprus (40 minutes)


 Wednesday 5 September 2018   10 a.m.-10.40 a.m.:   United States of America            (40 minutes)


      10.40 a.m.-11.20 a.m.:   Guatemala (40 minutes)


      11.20 a.m.-11.40 a.m.:   Break


      11.40 a.m.-12.20 p.m.:   Marshall Islands              (40 minutes)


      12.20 p.m.-1 p.m.:    India (40 minutes)


      1 p.m.-3 p.m.:    Break


      3 p.m.-3.40 p.m.:    Israel (40 minutes)


      3.40 p.m.-4.20 p.m.:   Kenya (40 minutes)


      4.20 p.m.-4.40 p.m.:   Break


       4.40 p.m.-5.20 p.m.:   Nicaragua (40 minutes)


      5.20 p.m.-6 p.m.:    Nigeria (40 minutes)


Thursday 6 September 2018   10.40 a.m.-11.20 a.m.:   Serbia (40 minutes)


      11.20 a.m.-11.40 a.m.:   Break


      11.40 a.m.-12.20 p.m.:   Thailand (40 minutes)


      12.20 p.m.-1 p.m.:    Vanuatu (40 minutes)


       1 p.m.-3 p.m.:    Break


      3 p.m.-3.40 p.m.:    Zambia (40 minutes)


      3.40 p.m.-4.20 p.m.:   African union (40 minutes)


Multimedia


 The hearings will be streamed live and on demand (VOD) in English and French on the Court’s website (www.icj-cij.org/en/multimedia-index) as well as on UN Web TV, the United Nations online television channel. Still photographs of the hearings will be posted, on each day of the hearings, on the ICJ website and the Court’s Twitter feed (@CIJ_ICJ) along with selected high-resolution video footage (b-roll). 


 All ICJ photographs and videos are available free of charge, for non-commercial editorial use. 


 For information regarding the accreditation/admission procedures for these proceedings, as well as the video streaming options (low and high resolution), practical information for the media and history of the proceedings, please see below. 


A. Admission procedures


 Owing to the limited number of seats available in the Great Hall of Justice, priority access will be given to the delegations participating in oral proceedings, and to members of the Diplomatic Corps. 


1. Members of the Diplomatic Corps


 Members of the Diplomatic Corps will be informed shortly of the procedure organized for them. 


2. Members of the public


 A number of seats will be allocated to members of the public on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no advance registration procedure, and admission requests submitted beforehand will not be considered. 


3. Media representatives


 Media representatives are subject to a compulsory online accreditation procedure, which will close at midnight on Wednesday 22 August 2018. Requests submitted after this deadline will not be considered. 


B. Further practical information for the media


1. Verbatim records of the hearings


  Verbatim records of the oral statements will be published daily on the Court’s website.


2. Entry to the Peace Palace


 The Press Room will be open one hour and a half prior to the start of hearings and will close one hour after they conclude. Accredited media representatives must bring with them their personal ID and press card, and are asked to arrive at the Peace Palace one hour before the start of the hearings at the latest. Only duly accredited individuals with valid identification will be permitted to enter the Peace Palace grounds. 


3. Parking at the Peace Palace, satellite vehicles


 No parking is allowed on the Peace Palace grounds apart from satellite vehicles. Media wishing to park satellite vehicles are requested to fill in the appropriate fields in the online accreditation form. Televised media wishing to broadcast the hearings live should contact the Information Department as soon as possible to make the necessary arrangements. Satellite vehicle technicians/drivers will be informed in due course of the access times for the Peace Palace grounds. 


4. Access to the courtroom


 Photographers and camera crews will only be permitted to enter the room for a few minutes only at the start of each session. They will be accompanied by Registry staff members and must


keep to the right-hand side of the room. Journalists will be able to follow the hearings from the Press Room, which will be situated in the Academy Building next to the Peace Palace.


5. Press Room


 The hearings will be transmitted live on a large screen, in English and French, in a press room equipped with a shared Internet access (Wi-Fi, Ethernet). TV crews can connect to the Court’s PAL (HD and SD) and NTSC (SD) audio-visual system and radio reporters to the audio system. 


6. Other media services 


 For further practical information (on requests for interviews, TV stand-up positions, audio and video outputs available, etc.), please visit the Court’s website. Click on “Press Room”, and then on “Media Services”. 


 


History of the proceedings


 On 22 June 2017, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 71/292, in which, referring to Article 65 of the Statute of the Court, it requested the Court to render an advisory opinion on the following questions:


(a) “Was the process of decolonization of Mauritius lawfully completed when Mauritius was granted independence in 1968, following the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius and having regard to international law, including obligations reflected in General Assembly resolutions 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, 2066 (XX) of 16 December 1965, 2232 (XXI) of 20 December 1966 and 2357 (XXII) of 19 December 1967?”; 


(b) “What are the consequences under international law, including obligations reflected in the above-mentioned resolutions, arising from the continued administration by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of the Chagos Archipelago, including with respect to the inability of Mauritius to implement a programme for the resettlement on the Chagos Archipelago of its nationals, in particular those of Chagossian origin?” 


 By a letter dated 23 June 2017, the Secretary-General of the United Nations transmitted the request for an advisory opinion to the Court. 


 By letters dated 28 June 2017, the Registrar of the Court then gave notice of the request for an advisory opinion to all States entitled to appear before the Court, pursuant to Article 66, paragraph 1, of the Statute. 


 By an Order dated 14 July 2017, the Court decided “that the United Nations and its Member States, which are likely to be able to furnish information on the question submitted to the Court for an advisory opinion, may do so within the time-limits fixed in th[e] Order”. It fixed 30 January 2018 as the time-limit within which written statements on the question may be presented to the Court, in accordance with Article 66, paragraph 2, of the Statute, and 16 April 2018 as the time-limit within which States and organizations having presented written statements may submit written comments on the other written statements, in accordance with Article 66, paragraph 4, of the Statute.


 By an Order dated 17 January 2018, the Court decided that “the African union, which is likely to be able to furnish information on the question submitted to the Court for an advisory opinion, may do so within the time-limits fixed by the Court”. The Court has also extended to 1 March 2018 the time-limit for the filing of all written statements, in accordance with Article 66, paragraph 2, of its Statute, and to 15 May 2018 the time-limit within which States and organizations having presented written statements may submit written comments on the other written statements, in accordance with Article 66, paragraph 4, of the Statute. The Order followed a letter dated 10 January 2018, by which the Legal Counsel of the African union requested that this organization “(i) be permitted to furnish information, in writing and orally, on the question submitted to the Court for its advisory opinion and (ii) be granted an extension of one month for the filing of its written statement”.


 Within the time-limit extended by the Court, written statements were filed by, in order of their receipt: Belize, Germany, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Serbia, France, Israel, Russian Federation, United States, Seychelles, Australia, India, Chile, Brazil, Republic of Korea, Madagascar, China, Djibouti, Mauritius, Nicaragua, African union, Guatemala, Argentina, Lesotho, Cuba, Viet Nam, South Africa, Marshall Islands and Namibia. 


 On 14 March 2018, the Court decided to accept the written statement filed by Niger, submitted on 6 March 2018, after expiry of the relevant time-limit.


 Within the time-limit extended by the Court, written comments were filed by, in order of their receipt: African union, Serbia, Nicaragua, United Kingdom, Mauritius, Seychelles, Guatemala, Cyprus, Marshall Islands, United States and Argentina.


 By communications dated 26 March 2018, the Court requested the United Nations and its Member States, as well as the African union, to inform it, by 15 June 2018 at the latest, if they intended to take part in the oral proceedings. 


 Within the time-limit fixed by the Court for that purpose, 22 States and the African union announced their participation in the oral proceedings. 


 Note: The Court’s press releases are prepared by its Registry for information purposes only and do not constitute official documents. 


 The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the United Nations Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York. The Court has a twofold role: first, to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States (its judgments have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned); and, second, to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and agencies of the system. The Court is composed of 15 judges elected for a nine-year term by the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations. Independent of the United Nations Secretariat, it is assisted by a Registry, its own international secretariat, whose activities are both judicial and diplomatic, as well as administrative. The official languages of the Court are French and English. Also known as the “World Court”, it is the only court of a universal character with general jurisdiction.


 The ICJ, a court open only to States for contentious proceedings, and to certain organs and institutions of the United Nations system for advisory proceedings, should not be confused with the other  mostly criminal  judicial institutions based in The Hague and adjacent areas, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC, the only permanent international criminal court, which was established by treaty and does not belong to the United Nations system), the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL, an international judicial body with an independent legal personality, established by the United Nations Security Council upon the request of the Lebanese Government and composed of Lebanese and international judges), the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT, mandated to take over residual functions from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda), the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (an ad hoc judicial institution which has its seat in The Hague), or the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA, an independent institution which assists in the establishment of arbitral tribunals and facilitates their work, in accordance with the Hague Convention of 1899).


Information Department:


 Mr. Andrey Poskakukhin, First Secretary of the Court, Head of Department (+31 (0)70 302 2336)


Ms Joanne Moore, Information Officer (+31 (0)70 302 2337) 


Mr. Avo Sevag Garabet, Associate Information Officer (+31 (0)70 302 2394) 


Ms Genoveva Madurga, Administrative Assistant (+31 (0)70 302 2396)