The International Court of Justice and Territorial Disputes: Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge

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Abstract

The dispute between Malaysia and Singapore over Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge – three maritime features located at the eastern entrance of the Straits of Singapore – began in December 1979 when Malaysia published a map depicting Pedra Branca as lying within its territorial waters. A few months later, Singapore sent a diplomatic note rejecting Malaysia’s claim to Pedra Branca and requesting a correction of the map. Attempts to settle the dispute by bilateral negotiations were made from 1993 to 1994. The question of sovereignty over Middle Rocks and South Ledge was raised during these negotiations. Faced with a lack of progress, both parties decided to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice. I present a brief analysis of the reasoning of the Court in the 2008 case on the Sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge, with special attention on the question of the passing of sovereignty and loss of territory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Administrative Law: The Casebook
EditorsSabino Cassese
Pages23-27
Volume5
Edition3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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