A few weeks ago, Human Rights Watch released a report on the forced expulsion of the Chagossian people, whom the United Kingdom deported from their island homes in the Indian Ocean about 60 years ago to make way for the United States to build a military base called Diego Garcia. The report recommends reparations for the Chagossian people and a trial for individuals responsible for these crimes against humanity—the very first time the group has laid such a charge at the door of the US and UK. 

Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Philippe Sands, an international human rights lawyer who served as counsel for Mauritius in its bid to reclaim sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago. Philippe is the author of several books, including his most recent, "The Last Colony: A Tale of Exile, Justice and Britain's Colonial Legacy," which is about the islands. They discussed the Chagossian people’s decades-long legal struggle to return to their ancestral home, a chance phone call from a ski lift, and the role of race and identity in the making and application of international law. 

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