After the Second World War, new international rules heralded an age of human rights and self-determination. Supported by Britain, these unprecedented changes sought to end the scourge of colonialism. But how committed was Britain? In the 1960s, its colonial instinct ignited once more: a secret decision was taken to offer the US a base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, create a new colony and deport the population.
For four decades the government of Mauritius fought for the return of Chagos, and for the past decade Philippe Sands has been intimately involved in the cases. In 2018 they finally reached the World Court in The Hague. Fourteen international judges faced a landmark decision: would they open the door to Chagossians returning home or exile them forever?
This is a tale about the making of modern international law and one woman's fight for justice, a courtroom drama and a personal journey that ends with a historic ruling.