Malaysia's Territorial Disputes – Two Cases at the ICJ

Malaysia objected to the Philippine request to intervene, and succeeded in preventing the Philippines from using Article 62 of the Statutes of the ICJ as a platform to advance its claim. Malaysia was satisfied with the opportunity it had to explain to the Court that not merely had the Philippines no right to intervene before the Court in the case concerning Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan; it had no claim to make against Malaysia regarding Sabah. Malaysia amply demonstrated to the Court that in fact and in law, the Philippine claim to Sabah was totally lacking in foundation.

Malaysia won at the International Court of Justice — in both the intervention phase (Indonesia/Malaysia/Philippines) and the merits phase (Indonesia/Malaysia) — because Malaysia had a good case, and argued it fully and thoroughly. This was made possible by good teamwork including many years of researching thousands of documents and maps spanning several centuries, in archives and depositories, in Sabah, Peninsular Malaysia, the United Kingdom, 51 the United States, India and The Netherlands. This research was conducted by officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs including Malaysian Embassies in the aforementioned countries, the Department of National Archives, the Department of Survey and Mapping, the Ministry of Land and Cooperative Development, the Navy, other Agencies of Government as well as several scholars and historians from universities in Malaysia and abroad.

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