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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan Case (Indonesia/Malaysia)

Suzette V Suarez

Subject(s):
Continental shelf — Sovereignty — Boundaries — Territory, acquisition and transfer — Territory, title — Islands and artificial islands — Treaties, interpretation

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 The object of the dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia consisted of two small islands in the Celebes Sea: Pulau Sipadan and Pulau Ligitan. The location of Pulau Sipadan is approximately 4° 06´ N and 118° 37´ E. It is 14 nautical miles away from the south-eastern coast of Sabah and about 40 nautical miles from Pulau Sebatik, an island that belongs to Indonesia. Sipadan, an island of volcanic origin, was mainly uninhabited. However, in 1988, the Sabah Department for Tourism and Environment established a wildlife preservation office and administered eco-tourism...
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