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Ligitan Island
Sabah-Islands-DarvelBay PulauLigitan-Pushpin.png
Location of Ligitan Island in Darvel Bay of Celebes Sea
Ligitan Island is located in Borneo
Ligitan Island
Ligitan Island
Coordinates4°9′0″N 118°53′0″E / 4.15000°N 118.88333°E / 4.15000; 118.88333Coordinates: 4°9′0″N 118°53′0″E / 4.15000°N 118.88333°E / 4.15000; 118.88333
State Sabah

Ligitan (Malay: Pulau Ligitan) is a small island in Tawau, Sabah, located east of the island of Borneo, in the Celebes Sea. In the past, the island was at the centre of a territorial dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia. The matter was brought for adjudication before the International Court of Justice and, at the end of 2002, the Court awarded the island along with the island of Sipadan to Malaysia, on the basis of the "effective occupation" displayed by the latter's predecessor (Malaysia's former colonial power, Great Britain) and the absence of any other superior title.[1] The Philippines had applied to intervene in the proceedings on the basis of its claim to Northern Borneo, but its request was turned down by the Court early in 2001.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Court finds that sovereignty over the islands of Ligitan and Sipadan belongs to Malaysia". International Court of Justice. 17 December 2002. Archived from the original on 9 April 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Judgement of the ICJ of 17 December 2002 (Merits) [1]
  • Fabio Spadi (2003) "Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan: New Parameters for the Concept of Dependency in the Maritime Environment? The ICJ Judgment of 17 December 2002", The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 18: 295-310