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Malaysia seeks interpretation of ICJ's Pulau Batu Puteh judgment


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 1 Jul 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has filed an application requesting interpretation of the judgment delivered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on May 23, 2008 over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh and South Ledge.

This was disclosed by the Hague-based ICJ in a press release dated June 30.

It said that in the judgment, the Court found that sovereignty over Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh belonged to Singapore while sovereignty over Middle Rocks belonged to Malaysia and sovereignty over South Ledge, to the State in the territorial waters of which it is located.

The statement said Malaysia had requested the Court to adjudge and declare that the waters surrounding Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh remained within the territorial waters of Malaysia; as South Ledge is located in the territorial waters of Malaysia, consequently sovereignty over it belonged to Malaysia.

Malaysia adds that the present Application for interpretation of the 2008 Judgement, which was filed on the basis of Article 60 of the Statute of the Court, is separate and autonomous from the Application of revision of the same judgment filed on Feb 2 on the basis of Article 61 of the Statute of the Court, even if the two proceedings were necessarily closely related.

As basis of its request for interpretation, Malaysia invokes Article 60 of the Statute of the Court, which provides that in the event of a dispute as to the meaning or scope of the judgement, the Court shall construe it upon the request of any party. It also invokes Article 98 of the Rules of the Court, said the statement.

According to the statement, the applicant (Malaysia) explained that Malaysia and Singapore had attempted to implement the 2008 judgment through co-operative processes.

To that end, it said, the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Technical Committee (MSJTC) on the Implementation of the Courts 2008 judgment was established, tasked inter alia with addressing the delimitation of the maritime boundaries between the territorial waters of both countries.

According to Malaysia, the MSJTC reached an impasse in November 2013. Malaysia asserts that one reason of this impasse is that the Parties have been unable to agree over the meaning of the 2008 judgment as it concerns South Ledge and the waters surrounding Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh.

Malaysia indicated in its application that the parties had been unable to agree on the meaning and/or scope of the following two points of the 2008 judgment — the Courts finding that sovereignty over Pedra Branda/Pulau Batu Puteh belongs to Singapore and the Courts finding that sovereignty over South Ledge belongs to the State in the territorial waters of which it is located.

The statement said the applicant went on to argue that the ongoing uncertainty as to which State is sovereign over the disputed areas continued to complicate the task of ensuring orderly and peaceful relations.

It affirms that the need to achieve a viable solution to this dispute is pressing, considering the high volume of aerial and maritime traffic in the area, it said.

Malaysia filed the application for revision of the ICJ judgement on Feb 2, 2017, following its discovery of three documents at the National Archives of the United Kingdom to support its claim. - Bernama

   

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