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Tears of the Olive Trees: Mandatory Palestine, the UK, and Reparations for Colonialism in International Law

Wilde, Ralph; (2022) Tears of the Olive Trees: Mandatory Palestine, the UK, and Reparations for Colonialism in International Law. Journal of the History of International Law 10.1163/15718050-12340216. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The Palestinian people seek a reckoning for the failure of the UK to enable their self- determination during the League of Nations Mandate period and in 1948. The common view of international lawyers is that the law of self-determination only became applicable to colonial peoples in the second half of the 20th Century. Consequently, the UK, and the League Council, had a free hand on the question of the status of the Palestine Mandate. This is mistaken. The special clause of the League Covenant applicable to Palestine, providing for provisional independence, could not be lawfully bypassed. The UK’s failure to comply with this was a violation of international law with ongoing consequences, thereby serving as a basis for contemporary accountability. This case study reveals the existence and potential of legal avenues for colonial reparations rooted in not generally-applicable legal norms but sui generis rules specific to the case at hand.

Type: Article
Title: Tears of the Olive Trees: Mandatory Palestine, the UK, and Reparations for Colonialism in International Law
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1163/15718050-12340216
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1163/15718050-12340216
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Palestine; self-determination; racism; colonial accountability; League of Nations; League of Nations Covenant article 22; Mandates; Palestine Mandate; UK; Balfour Declaration; Winston Churchill; ultra vires; law of international organizations
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10158683
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