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The Last Colony


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About the Author

Philippe Sands is Professor of Law at UCL and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He 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, TORTURE TEAM, EAST WEST STREET, which won the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fiction, and Sunday Times bestselling THE RATLINE. He is a contributor to the Financial Times, Guardian, New York Review of Books and Vanity Fair, and makes regular appearances on radio and television. He is President of English PEN and a member of the board of the Hay Festival.


Mindful of not only the stories but also the silences of the past, THE LAST COLONY is a powerful and poignant book that should be read by anyone who cares about justice, humanity and human rights. Rarely does a book combine erudition and empathy so eloquently - it is stellar in every sense of the word

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

A powerful and persuasive account . . . superb

Gripping . . . Sands writes fluently and passionately throughout, linking the story of the Chagossians to the wider narrative of the end of colonialism, and postwar attempts to codify and enforce the right of self-determination of peoples. Elegant, moving and profoundly informative

An important book about a great injustice - alas, the sins of our colonial fathers are still with us

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

A fascinating story which shows the personal and ongoing toll of colonial rule

Sands, who represented Mauritius at the International Court, is the right person to tell this story. He elegantly mixes a more general history of the development of international law, on which he knows as much as anyone, with the particular subject of the book

Brings a human touch to the story . . . Sands is a worthy and effective advocate

Interweaves personal stories with global politics and the development of international law . . . an urgent reminder that Britain's colonial rule isn't our past. It's our present

A devastating indictment of Britain's colonial past, exploring the decision to deport the entire population of Chagos in the 1960s. It recounts one courageous woman's four-decade fight for justice in the face of a crime against humanity, culminating in a courtroom drama at The Hague and a historic ruling

A resounding history, thrilling as any novel

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