This book tells the story of Singapore’s first experience of defending its legal rights before an international tribunal, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
In April 2002, Malaysia lodged a protest against Singapore’s reclamation works around Pulau Tekong and Pulau Ubin on the grounds that they were causing trans-boundary environmental harm to Malaysia’s territorial waters. Just a year later, after one unsuccessful meeting between the parties, Malaysia initiated proceedings against Singapore, to stop its reclamation works around these islands. Malaysia’s claim for provisional measures to stop the Pulau Tekong reclamation works until the disposal of the dispute raised the larger issue of conflicting legal rights – Singapore’s right to reclaim part of its territorial sea for national needs, and Malaysia’s concern to protect its maritime environment from harm.
The authors, who were part of the multidisciplinary and multi-agency team tasked with presenting Singapore’s case at ITLOS, recount the facts of the reclamation dispute and the ITLOS proceedings culminating in a pragmatic outcome, one that paves the way for future cases of this nature to be resolved in a similar way. This book would be of interest to students and readers of international relations, international law and the peaceful settlement of disputes.
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