Skip to main content

Ocean Island litigation records

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 315

Scope and Contents

A comprehensive set of papers relating to Ocean Island Nos 1 and 2. The first box contains a file of correspondence, 1980-1981, regarding the gift of the collection to the R.C.S.


  • Creation: 1970 - 1978

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

In 1971 a writ (R 3670) was issued by Rotan Tito and others, leaders of the Banabans, against the Attorney-General and the British Phosphate Commissioners, claiming compensation for the use of Ocean Island, home of the Banabans, for the mining of phosphates. To save costs, a second writ (R 2013) was issued in 1973 naming the British Phosphate Commissioners among the defendants, and they were struck out of the first action. The case was heard in 1975-1976. As the hearings on the second writ were taken first, it became known as Ocean Island No. 1; R 3670 was Ocean Island No. 2. Judgement was given in November-December 1976.


22 archive box(es) (22 boxes) : paper

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference

MSS 961

Other Finding Aids

MSS Addenda, vol. III.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by Messrs Burchell & Rushton through Peter Westwood, May 1980.


Mr Justice Megarry's judgement, which was published in the 'Weekly law reports', 1 April 1977, pp. 496-712, summarises the case and its legal complexities. This collection is described in 'Royal Commonwealth Society library notes', no. 240, December 1980, pp. 1-2.


This collection level description was created by RAS using information from the original typescript catalogue.



Includes index.
2004-02-18 11:26:39+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom