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Mauritius: Sovereignty

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL12876, tabled on 1 February 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the judgment by the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on 28 January concerning the delimitation of maritime boundary between Mauritius and Maldives, which found that the Advisory Opinion was determinative of Mauritian sovereignty, what steps they are taking to comply with (1) the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice, published on 25 February 2019 and (2) the UN General Assembly Resolution 73/295 from 22 May 2019.

Answered on

15 February 2021

The United Kingdom is aware of the judgment delivered on 28 January by the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) formed to deal with the dispute concerning delimitation of a maritime boundary claimed by Mauritius to exist between Mauritius and Maldives in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius/Maldives). The UK is not a party to these proceedings, which can have no effect for the UK or for maritime delimitation between the UK (in respect of the British Indian Ocean Territory) and the Republic of the Maldives.

The UK Government respects the International Court of Justice and has considered the content of the Advisory Opinion carefully, but does not share the Court's approach. An Advisory Opinion is not a legally binding judgment, it is advice provided to the UN General Assembly at its request. The UN General Assembly resolution is also non-binding.