The Sudan Self-Government Statute of 1953 contained the first bill of rights written in a territory under British dominion. The timetable for Sudan's constitutional decolonization and the content of its constitutional instrument were heavily influenced by international considerations, specifically because Britain shared dominion over the Sudan with Egypt and Egypt controlled the geopolitically crucial Suez Canal. Cold War politics then dictated that British policy on the Sudan was closely linked to Britain's negotiations with the Egyptian Government about a defence treaty over the Suez Canal. The impetus for the bill of rights came from educated northern Sudanese politicians who, inspired by international human rights instruments, saw a bill of rights as an aspirational statement of the Sudan's desire to become an independent nation state.
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