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Bancoult v. McNamara

Memorandum Opinion, 30 Sep 2002, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, United States

The Chagos Archipelagos are a collection of small islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Under British administration since 1814, they were home to approximately 1000 inhabitants by the 1960s who lived on and cultivated the land, educated their children and raised their families.

In 1964, the British and the United States governments entered into secret negotiations the outcome of which was the establishment of a military base on Diego Garcia, the Chagos Archipelagos largest islands. In order to do so, from 1965 until 1971, the population of Chagos was forcibly relocated: those who had left on trips abroad were denied re-entry, an embargo was put in place preventing the delivery of crucial food supplies and the remaining population was forcibly loaded onto ships and relocated to Mauritius and the Seychelles.

The present civil suit is brought by the indigenous peoples of Chagos, their survivors and their descendants against the United States and a number of high-ranking individuals within the US Government whom the plaintiffs consider responsible for their forcible relocation. By its memorandum opinion of 30 September 2002, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the plaintiffs’ motion on procedural grounds, namely that it required further submissions with regards to the exercise of jurisdiction over the claim considering its implication of the United States, a party that ordinarily cannot be sued unless there has been an implicit or explicit waiver of immunity. 


Bancoult v. McNamara

Memorandum Opinion, 21 Dec 2004, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, United States

The Chagos Archipelagos are a collection of small islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Under British administration since 1814, they were home to approximately 1000 inhabitants by the 1960s who lived on and cultivated the land, educated their children and raised their families.

In 1964, the British and the United States governments entered into secret negotiations the outcome of which was the establishment of a military base on Diego Garcia, the Chagos Archipelagos largest islands. In order to do so, from 1965 until 1971, the population of Chagos was forcibly relocated: those who had left on trips abroad were denied re-entry, an embargo was put in place preventing the delivery of crucial food supplies, and the remaining population was forcibly loaded onto ships and relocated to Mauritius and the Seychelles.

The present civil suit is brought by the indigenous peoples of Chagos, their survivors and their descendants against the United States and a number of high-ranking individuals within the US Government whom the plaintiffs consider responsible for their forcible relocation. By its memorandum opinion of 21 December 2004, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the plaintiffs’ motion on the ground that the named individual defendants were all federal employees at the time (e.g. former Secretaries of Defense, Admirals) and therefore benefited from immunity from prosecution under US law. Alleged violations of the Alien Tort Claims Act do not fall within the accepted exception to immunity because the Act itself does not create substantive rights and obligations that can be violated. 


Bancoult v. McNamara

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, 21 Apr 2006, United States Court of Appeal, District of Columbia, Unites States of America, United States

The Chagos Archipelagos are a collection of small islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Under British administration since 1814, they were home to approximately 1000 inhabitants by the 1960s who lived on and cultivated the land, educated their children and raised their families.

In 1964, the British and the United States governments entered into secret negotiations the outcome of which was the establishment of a military base on Diego Garcia, the Chagos Archipelagos largest islands. In order to do so, from 1965 until 1971, the population of Chagos was forcibly relocated: those who had left on trips abroad were denied re-entry, an embargo was put in place preventing the delivery of crucial food supplies and the remaining population was forcibly loaded onto ships and relocated to Mauritius and the Seychelles.

The present civil suit is brought by the indigenous peoples of Chagos, their survivors and their descendants against the United States and a number of high-ranking individuals within the US Government whom the plaintiffs consider responsible for their forcible relocation. By a decision of 21 December 2004, the District Court for the District of Columbia held that the case was not justiciable as it required the judiciary to review political questions. On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the decision of the lower court. 


Serbia v. Ganić

Decision on extradition, 27 Jul 2010, City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Great Britain (UK)


Ferrini v. Germany

Sentenza , 11 Mar 2004, Supreme Court, Italy


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