[JURIST] The International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] Friday ruled [text, PDF; press release, PDF] that a small uninhabited island on which Singapore operates a light beacon does in fact belong to the country, ending a 38-year long dispute between it and neighboring Malaysia [JURIST news archives]. The court held that the strategically important island had originally belonged to Malaysia, but because Singapore had been operating the beacon on the rock for 130 years before Malaysia protested the claim in 1980, possession of the island had passed to Singapore. AFP has more.
The ICJ accepted the dispute [ICJ materials] from the two countries in July 2003. The court is also currently considering maritime disputes between Peru and Chile and Costa Rica and Nicaragua [ICJ materials].