Moving beyond disputes over island sovereignty: ICJ decision sets stage for maritime boundary delimitation in the Singapore strait
The International Court of Justice's May 2008 decision to award Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore and Middle Rocks to Malaysia has removed a major obstacle to the delimitation of maritime boundaries in the eastern part of the Singapore Strait. This article explores the issues relevant to the delimitation of maritime boundaries between Malaysia, Singapore, and also Indonesia in this area. A brief summary of the case is followed by consideration of the baselines and maritime jurisdictional claims of the parties and the delimitation of maritime boundaries, with particular emphasis on the status and potential role of the islands in this context. Potential maritime boundary delimitation scenarios in the eastern Singapore Strait are then considered and assessed.