ICJ Issues Judgment in Malaysia/Singapore Case

by Chris Borgen

On Friday, the ICJ issued its judgment in Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge (Malaysia/Singapore). A summary sent by the ICJ stated that

it had found by 12 votes to four that Pedra Blanca/Pulau Batu Puteh, a granite island in the Straits of Singapore on which a lighthouse stands, belongs to Singapore and has done so since at least 1980, when the dispute between the two countries crystallized.

In the case of Middle Rocks, which consist of a group of rocks that are permanently above water, the ICJ … ruled 15 to one that it belongs to Malaysia.

The court also noted that South Ledge, a nearby low-tide elevation, falls within the apparently overlapping territorial waters generated by Pedra Blanca/Pulau Batu Puteh and by Middle Rocks. Given that the two countries have not asked the court to draw the line of delimitation, the judges said, by 15 to one, that sovereignty belongs to the State in the territorial waters of which it is located.

The press release, including a detailed summary of the opinion, is here and the full opinion available here.

http://opiniojuris.org/2008/05/27/icj-issues-judgment-in-malaysiasingapore-case/

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