The UN General Assembly on May 2019 adopted a resolution that welcomed the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the separation of Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965. This resolution, in accordance with the ICJ's advisory, has demanded the complete withdrawal of the UK and the US within six months from the archipelago. Countries like Australia, the US, the UK, Hungary, Israel, and Maldives were against this resolution. It has stated that the decolonization of Mauritius was not in accordance with the right to self-determination and that the UK’s sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago establishes a “wrongful act”. However, the stance taken by the major colonial powers like the US and the UK shows their unwillingness to adapt to the new era, the one that is defined by freedom and liberty of their previously colonised territories.
Indian judiciary, according to National Judicial Data Grid Statistics, has about 3 crores pending cases. Due to its slow pace, many prefer arbitration to solve the issues of dispute settlement, monetary recovery, etc. To encourage foreign investments and promote ease of doing business, faster judicial procedures and efficient dispute resolution are essential. Provisions to settle disputes through arbitration are provided in Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. This law was amended twice: in 2015 and during the recent parliament session.
India’s importance in the Indian Ocean region and rising recognition of the same was once again highlighted recently when it joined the Indian Ocean Commission as an observer. India being a predominant force in the Indian Ocean, joining this important organization lends much required depth to SAGAR vision of PM Narendra Modi.
The Parliament had passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on July this year. Human rights and fundamental freedoms are vital parts of our everyday life as they allow us to fully develop our potential as human beings. Therefore, the National Human Rights Commission is a vital part of our democracy. However, 13 out of 15 positions of the chairpersons of SHRCs were vacant and the post of chairperson of NHRC also remained vacant for a long time. Therefore, this amended Act seeks to prevent the problem of vacancies of these essential posts.
Given the recent crisis in Myanmar and its numerous residents fleeing to India, it has been a difficult situation for India to act promptly and not think about its long term implications. Although India has made promising decisions yet the crisis has highlighted India’s policy regarding refugees. The issue has not been new to Indian policymakers. It has been noticed time and again, whether it is the arrival of Bangladeshi nationals or the Rohingyas. India has always been the first choice for those who are fleeing its neighbouring countries in search of peace and livelihood but given its commitment towards its large population, it has always been a difficult task to take bold actions. Therefore, India’s very principles which make it great have been put into question now and it will be important to notice how India deals with this situation.