ICJ drops Pedra Branca case from list, cancels hearings

ICJ drops Pedra Branca case from list, cancels hearings

Pedra Branca
Pedra Branca. (Photo: Calvin Seah)

SINGAPORE: The International Court of Justice confirmed on Friday (Jun 1) that Malaysia has dropped its request for the United Nation's top court to overturn its ruling in a decades-old dispute with Singapore over Pedra Branca.

Malaysia "notified the Court that the parties had agreed to discontinue the proceedings in the aforementioned case" in a letter on Monday, the International Court of Justice announced.

"Consequently the court made an order recording the discontinuance following the agreement of the parties... of the proceedings instituted by Malaysia against Singapore and directing the removal of the case from the Court's list," it said in a statement.

Two weeks of hearings, scheduled to start on Jun 11, have therefore been cancelled, the Hague-based ICJ added.

Malaysia lodged the case in February 2017, calling for the court to overturn its 2008 ruling granting Singapore sovereignty over the disputed rocky outcrop.

Kuala Lumpur then maintained new documents had been discovered in British archives backing its territorial claim to the islet.

The island is in a strategically important position, 7.7 nautical miles (14 kilometres) off Johor on the eastern approach to the Singapore Strait from the South China Sea.

Singapore had operated the Horsburgh Lighthouse on the granite island for more than 130 years without protest from its neighbour.

The ICJ on Friday gave no further details on the agreement reached between the two eastern Asian neighbours.

Established in 1946, the ICJ is the UN's highest court and rules in disputes between countries.

Source: AFP/aj