Outcome of the Case
On 23 May 2008, the ICJ issued its judgment, in which it decided that sovereignty over Pedra Branca belongs to Singapore, sovereignty over Middle Rocks belongs to Malaysia, and sovereignty over South Ledge belongs to the State in the territorial waters of which it is located.
In the case of Pedra Branca, the ICJ held that while the Sultanate of Johor had original title to Pedra Branca, sovereignty over the island had passed to Singapore by 1980 (when the dispute crystallised). This was demonstrated by the concrete acts of sovereignty conducted over the island by Singapore and its predecessors, taken together with the failure of Malaysia and its predecessors to respond to these acts.
After the ICJ’s Judgment was released, both Singapore and Malaysia agreed to abide by the ICJ’s ruling. A ‘Malaysia-Singapore Joint Technical Committee on the Implementation of the ICJ Judgment on Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge’ (MSJTC) was formed by both countries to implement the ICJ’s Judgment. Both countries have agreed that the next step would be for the MSJTC to move into the delimitation of maritime boundaries.
On February 2017, Malaysia filed an application for revision of the ICJ’s 2008 Judgment. Under Article 61 of the Statute of the ICJ, an application for revision of a Judgment may be made only when it is based upon the discovery of some fact of such a nature as to be a decisive factor, and which was, when the Judgment was given, unknown to the Court and the party claiming revision, provided such ignorance was not due to negligence. Such an application must be made within ten years of the date of the Judgment, and at latest within six months of the discovery of the new fact. Singapore filed its Written Observations on the admissibility of Malaysia’s revision application with the ICJ on 24 May 2017. Malaysia subsequently filed its Additional Written Observations on 11 December 2017, following which Singapore filed its Written Comments on Malaysia's Additional Written Observations on 12 February 2018.
On 30 June 2017, Malaysia filed a request for interpretation of the ICJ’s 2008 Judgment. Pursuant to Article 60 of the Statute of the ICJ, if there is a dispute as to the meaning or scope of judgment, the Court shall construe it upon the request of any party. Malaysia’s request for interpretation was additional to, and separate from, its revision application. Unlike a revision application which seeks to revise or alter judgment based on purported newly-discovered facts, an interpretation application seeks to clarify a judgment. Singapore filed its Written Observations on Malaysia's request for interpretation of the ICJ's 2008 Judgement with the ICJ on 30 October 2017. Malaysia subsequently filed its Written Comments on Singapore's Written Observations on 15 February 2018. Thereafter, Singapore filed its Written Response to Malaysia's Written Comments on 23 April 2018.
On 28 May 2018, Malaysia informed the ICJ that it would discontinue the proceedings for both the revision and interpretation cases that it had initiated earlier. On 29 May 2018, Singapore informed the ICJ that it agreed with Malaysia's request for discontinuance. On the same day, the ICJ informed Malaysia and Singapore that the Court had placed on record the discontinuance, by agreement of the Parties, of both sets of proceedings instituted by Malaysia against Singapore, and directed that the cases be removed from the Court's list.