Dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Mauritius and Maldives in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius/Maldives
On 28 January 2021, a Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea handed down judgment in the preliminary objections phase of Dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Mauritius and Maldives in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius/Maldives).
In these proceedings, Mauritius seeks delimitation of a maritime boundary between the Chagos Archipelago and the Maldives pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”).
The Maldives raised preliminary objections, including on the grounds that there was an extant dispute between Mauritius and the United Kingdom concerning sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago and that, as a result, maritime delimitation could not be carried out in the absence of the United Kingdom.
In its Judgment, the Special Chamber rejected the Maldives' preliminary objections. It agreed with Mauritius that the 2019 Chagos advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice has “legal effect and clear implications for the legal status of the Chagos Archipelago”. It stated, “While the process of decolonization has yet to be completed, Mauritius' sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago can be inferred from the [Court's] determinations.”
In light of the Special Chamber's ruling, the case will proceed to the merits phase.
- Special Agreement and Notification of 24 September 2019 and the Minutes of Consultation, annexed thereto
- Order 2019/4 of 27 September 2019
- Order 2019/5 of 10 October 2019
- Order 2019/6 of 19 December 2019
- Order 2020/3 of 15 September 2020
- Order 2021/2 of 3 February 2021
- ITLOS/Press 293: The Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Maldives submit their dispute concerning the delimitation of the maritime boundary in the Indian Ocean to a special chamber of the Tribunal
- ITLOS/Press 299: Preliminary objections submitted by the Republic of Maldives
- ITLOS/Press 305: Tribunal to embrace a hybrid format for the hearing on preliminary objections
- ITLOS/Press 310: Solemn declaration to be made by Judges ad hoc at 2:30 p.m. on 12 October 2020
- ITLOS/Press 312: Special Chamber to deliver its judgment on preliminary objections at 2 p.m. on Thursday, 28 January 202
- ITLOS/Press 313: Special Chamber finds that it has jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the dispute concerning the delimitation of the maritime boundary and that Mauritius' claim in this regard is admissible