THE LAST COLONY, a tale of exile, justice and Britain's colonial legacy

: Sands (P.) text & Rowson (M.) illus.

R 390.00
- +

Send us an email to request this title

208pp., illus., maps, paperback, London, 2022


In the 1960s Britian offered the US a base at Diego Garcia, one of the islands of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, constituted the Chagos islands as the British Indian Ocean Territory, and deported the entire local population. Mauritius gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1968, and has since claimed the Chagos Archipelago as Mauritian territory. In 2019, the International Court of Justice in The Hague issued a non-binding advisory opinion stating that the UK "...has an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible, and that all Member States must co-operate with the United Nations to complete the decolonisation of Mauritius."

"Powerful and elegantly written ... Sands uses the story of one Chagossian woman to tell a broader story about colonialism and international human rights from the 20th century to today. An essential account of a continuing and little-known area of injustice." Tomiwa Owolade, Sunday Times

"The Chagossians were forced from their archipelago in the Indian Ocean in the 1970s, and Britain still refuses to hand it back. Human rights lawyer Philippe Sands relates the wider tragedy of the scandal with nerve and precision ... [he] makes a steely and forensic case, laced with human empathy ... an important and welcome corrective" Tim Adams, Observer

Philippe Sands is Professor of Law at University College London and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He represented Mauritius at the International Court, and has been involved in many of the most important international cases of recent years, including Pinochet, Congo, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq, Guantanamo and the Rohingya. He is the author of Lawless World, Torture Team, East West Street (wInner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fiction) and The Ratline. He is a contributor to the Financial Times, Guardian, New York Review of Books and Vanity Fair.