S'pore appoints ex-ICJ president as judge ad hoc for Pulau Batu Puteh case


SINGAPORE: Singapore has chosen Judge Gilbert Guillaume, a former International Court of Justice (ICJ) President, to sit as judge ad hoc for Malaysia’s application for revision of the ICJ’s judgment on sovereignty over Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge.

In a statement today, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), said that Judge Guillaume was a Member of the ICJ from 1987 to 2005, and served as its President from 2000 to 2003.

The ministry said he was currently a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

“Under the Statute of the ICJ, if there is no judge of the nationality of the parties on the Bench of the Court, the parties may each choose a judge ad hoc who will take part in the decision on the case,” it said.

The MFA said that Singapore will be filing comprehensive and compelling written observations on the admissibility of Malaysia’s application by June 14, which is the time-limit fixed by the ICJ.

Malaysia has on Feb 2, filed an application for revision of the ICJ’s judgment of May 23, 2008 over Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge.

In its filing, Malaysia cited three documents recently declassified by the United Kingdom to support the application.

The documents are the internal correspondence of the Singapore colonial authorities in 1958, an incident report filed in 1958 by a British naval officer, and an annotated map of naval operations from the 1960s.

In its judgment, the ICJ in The Hague, the Netherlands, had ruled that sovereignty over Pedra Branca belongs to Singapore, sovereignty over Middle Rocks belonged to Malaysia, and sovereignty over South Ledge belongs to the State in the territorial waters of which it is located

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, was reported to have said that Singapore was confident of its case against Malaysia’s claim over Pedra Branca.

He said that Singapore’s legal team strongly believed that the three documents relied on by Malaysia in their application to overturn the 2008 ICJ ruling on Pedra Branca did not satisfy the criteria laid out for a revision of a judgement.

“We are confident of our legal team and our case,” he was quoted as saying by Channel NewsAsia in Parliament Thursday.

He said that after careful study of Malaysia’s application, Singapore’s legal team believed the documents did not satisfy the criteria under Article 61.

He said that Singapore was committed to resolving the issue amicably and in accordance with international law.--BERNAMA