In 2002, ASEAN made history when two of its founder members—Indonesia and Malaysia—amicably settled a dispute over the ownership of the two Bornean islands of Sipadan and Ligitan by accepting the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which ruled in favour of Malaysia. The case at once assumed great significance as a beacon of hope for the region which is plagued by numerous disruptive territorial disputes.
As both the historical evidence and legal milieu are vital considerations for the ICJ to award sovereignty, this book covers in detail the historical roots of the issue as well as the law dimension pertaining to the process of legal proceedings and the ICJ deliberations. The work concludes by offering a set of guidelines on cardinal principles of international law for successfully supporting a claim to disputed territories. These may be usefully utilized by interested parties.
“An invaluable account of the dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia over the Sipadan and Ligitan Islands. Written skilfully by a historian who is in clear command of the facts. Highly recommended for anyone who wishes to understand border disputes in Southeast Asia.”
—Professor James Chin, Director, Asia Institute, University of Tasmania