EU wades into Gibraltar fishing row

LAST UPDATED: 8 Jul, 2012 @ 09:34
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EU wades into Gibraltar fishing row

By James Bryce

THE EU has stepped into the escalating row between Spain and the UK over disputed waters around Gibraltar.

Environment commissioner Janez Potocnik warned that both countries must cooperate in their management of EU protected sites around the Rock.

He added that both sides had legal obligations to protect a designated Site of Specific Cultural Interest (SCI) alongside the enclave.

And, above all, they need to work together on protecting it from abuse.

The Gibraltar government insists however, that Spain should have no say on any protected area within its waters.

Backed by the UK, it refuses to recognise the ‘Spanish designations within British waters’, despite the EC approving the site near the Rock in 2008.

“The response from the EU Commission is erroneously based on the false premise that the waters around Gibraltar are anything other than exclusively British,” a Gibraltar government spokesman said.

A UK foreign office spokesman added: “Neither Spain nor the Commission alerted the UK to the Spanish SCI proposal. The UK does not recognise the Spanish SCI listing and is challenging the listing in the European courts.”

Potocnik’s comments came in response to a question by Gibraltar MEP Sir Graham Watson asking about Spain’s failure to notify the UK before filing its designation.

The latest twist in the row comes just days after Spain’s King Juan Carlos waded into the fishing dispute between Spain and Gibraltar after meeting Spanish fishermen during a visit to Algeciras.

In a meeting he reportedly told them that he was there because he ‘wanted to hear them in person’ and that Spain would support their cause.

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43 COMMENTS

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  1. Disputing a legal issue doesn’t automatically afford the claimant a right or a veto. If Morocco suddenly claimed the Canary Islands as its own, on the basis that the Canaries are nearer to it than Spain, the latter would not simply grant it rights over the Canary Islands and neither would governments of other countries or supra-national bodies.

    The waters surrounding Gibraltar are recognised as British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (‘BGTW’) by navies, shipping companies, admiralty courts and international bodies.

    Everything that follows must therefore recognise British jurisdiction over BGTW in order to make sense and that all subsequent events are therefore orchestrated, whether by the Guardia Civil, fishermen, etc. on the false premise that these are Spanish waters.

    Endless references in the Spanish media to events occurring “in Spanish waters” are intended to fan the flames, as Spaniards will naturally be incensed if reading that their law enforcement or fishing vessels were ‘harassed’ within their jurisdiction. This is of course not the case.

    Referring to the Bay of Gibraltar as that of Algeciras is also very misleading as this again distorts the true context of these events.

    An extreme case of such absurd and irresponsible reporting came after the Jubilee flotilla left marinas in Gibraltar, sailed close to the harbour and then Gibraltar’s Western and Eastern coasts, with a right-wing Madrid daily reporting that the whole procession had occurred ‘in Spanish waters’.

    So next time your readers hear or read about the Royal Navy or Royal Gibraltar Police being involved in some incident “in Spanish waters”, they may wish to reflect as to where this is taking place.

    Spanish tax payers may also wish to press their government as to why their hard earned Euros are being put towards Quixotic charades in another EU states sovereign waters instead of combating drug, human or other trafficking from North Africa into the Spanish mainland.

  2. Albert it is not only Spain that does not recognise BGTW. Gibraltar is listed by the UN as a territory that needs to be decolonised by the UK. It is not an independent State and as such it does not have territorial waters.

    Moreover the Treaty of Utrecht only ceded to the UK ‘the town and castle of Gibraltar, together with the port, fortifications, and forts’ nothing else. This means that sovereignty over the waters was never ceded to the UK by Spain. In any case, British occupation of the isthmus and failure to comply with all its terms means that the UK is in breach of the treaty.

    It follows therefore that Spain continues to retain its sovereignty over those waters. This is recognised by the European Union which has included its waters within a new 69 square mile EU marine conservation area called the ‘Estrecho Oriental’, to be maintained by Spain.

    Under EU law, only the member State with sovereignty over the land or sea in question can apply for it to be designated an EU conservation site – meaning the EU has recognised Spain’s sovereignty over those waters.

  3. Let the European Court sort it out. The EU has made matters worse by awarding overlapping SCI’s to Britain and Spain. Surely it would have been better to award neither, considering the disputed nature of the waters.

  4. @FurtherBeyond

    although your response appears well informed it does fall down on one central issue… namely that when the Treaty of Utrecht was signed the concept of ‘territorial waters’ did not even exist in law.

    Since the Treaty; the concept of territorial waters has been accepted and adopted by countries worldwide who appreciate that this is a concept that requires codification.

    Spain has signed numerous treaties affirming their acceptance of the Territorial Waters concept but, perhaps like the Utrecht document… they didn’t bother to read the small print.

  5. Further Beyond ….thats a spurious link, when has the UN said never that Gibraltar is not a territory in its own rights. Same with EU its not its remit to decide sovereignty and it never would, and its never mentioned the territorial water belonging to spain..its just your fanciful weird unlogical reasoning on the subject. very similar to the Argentine Trolls that regularly post lies about the Falklands.

  6. @F.Beyond
    “http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2009/gacol3192.doc.htm”
    There, that’ll sort you out.

    @Albert: well said sir!

    For everyone else: it appears the whole world, and every organisation on it recognises Gib as British, and any words to the contrary are just politians playing the nationalist card to get some media attention.

  7. @BigJon

    The link you refer to does not ‘sort out’ the matter as you assert. It simply restates the two opposing positions.

    You are also mistaken when you say the the ‘whole world and every organisation on it recognises Gibraltar as British’. The reality is that the UN continues to list Gibraltar as a territory that needs to be de-colonised by the UK.

  8. Did you actually read it? The UN has NO interest in keeping Gib on that list. Everyone in the UN agrees Gib should come off the list, as it confuses the issues of other places.
    The only people causing problems and difficulties are a few spaniards. Most people in La Linea want gib kept as it is. (because its so beneficial to the local economy). Its only a minority, of nationalists, ignoramuses, bent politians, avoiding the real issues, like unemployment and corruption, that keep causing trouble.

    Now, as the Duke Of Midina Sedonia, sold the whole rock to a bunch of jews, maybe we should give it to Israel. (Just because he cheated them does not mean its ownership is legally spains).

  9. BigJon

    Your assertion that ‘everyone in the UN agrees’ that Gibraltar should come off the list of territories that still need to be decolonised, is plainly wrong. Moreover, the current occupants of Gibraltar do not have a right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

    Under international law there are territorial limitations
    to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves where a pre-colonial claim of sovereignty exists. This is the case with Gibraltar.

    A coloniser cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising. In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

    Under the principal of territorial integrity which according to UN Resolution 1514 (XV) (1960) complements and constrains the right to self-determination ‘…any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.’

    The UN General Assembly has passed two resolutions on the issue (2231 (XXI), ‘Question of Gibraltar’and 2353 (XXII), ‘Question of Gibraltar’). The resolutions on the decolonisation of Gibraltar focused on the ‘interests’ and not the ‘wishes’ of the Gibraltarians. The latter resolution states that ‘…any colonial situation which partially or completely destroys the national unity and territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and especially with paragraph 6 of Resolution 1514 (XV) of the General Assembly’.

    That resolution also calls for ‘… Governments of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to resume without delay the negotiations provided for in General Assembly Resolutions 2070 (XX) and 2231 (XXI), with a view to putting an end to the colonial situation in Gibraltar and to safeguarding the interests of the population.’

    Gibraltar also conducted a referendum in the late 1960s. However, that referendum was declared invalid by the UN when it adopted Resolution 2353 (XXII), which observed that the referendum was contrary to the various resolutions which had been adopted by the UN General Assembly requiring the UK to decolonise Gibraltar.

    The reason why there are territorial limitations to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves is because otherwise it would be lawful for a group of people from say Ireland to establish an Irish colony on the eastern coast of England and then claim a right under the principle of self-determination to have the land they are occupying declared a part of Ireland.

  10. Even if the UN did believe that Gibraltar should be taken off a list or integrated as a part of Spain it would not mean anything. International law is based on treaty and agreement between partners. Part of that includes interpretation of the treaty by the signatory partners. The same is true for UN resolutions. The UN can pass a resolution but there is no actual legal force behind it or obligation should one of the signatories (in this case, the United Kingdom) dispute the interpretation or simply refuse to abide by it.

    The problem is that most people don’t understand how international law works in practice. They believe that it is like state law – an authoritative judiciary that has the force to impose binding laws, with punitive measures, upon individuals. This is not true for international law applied to nation states. There is no World Police Force that can enforce a UN resolution or international treaty. If a state wants to ignore a resolution they can do that. It is a part of state sovereignty. This is also a basic foundation of international legal theory, by the way.

    FurtherBeyond – you use the analogy of a group of Irish individuals establishing a colony on the coast of England. Let’s look at another controversial issue based in reality. The creation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Numerous resolutions have been passed against this. Many people sit back and say, “Resolution passed. It’s illegal.” However, Israel, as a sovereign state, has the authority to say, “No, it isn’t. And we’re going to keep doing it.” Similar resolutions are passed regarding Iran (nuclear), N. Korea (weapons, human rights), China (pollution), Japan (whaling), etc. All get ignored. And that authority to ignore a resolution that, without force, is non-binding is greater than someone who doesn’t understand how international law works in practice saying, “But a resolution was passed – it’s illegal now!”

    In short, it doesn’t matter how many resolutions are passed or how “illegal” it is according to your interpretations of non-enforcible paper law. Gibraltar is, in actuality, British. And this will never change unless the United Kingdom willingly, by its own power and authority, cedes it over to Spain.

  11. @reality: Thanks for clearing that up. It also helps me understand the fuss *after* the iraq conflict…
    @FurtherBeyond: (tl-dr) As Lord Medina sold it foreigners, and later the Spanish government agreed to hand it over (as payment for all the chaos they caused trying to take over the world) – isnt it pointless trying to landgrab it?

    The Moors 727 years.
    The Spanish 242.
    The British 300 years.

    So the Spanish had it second. And agreed to part with it. YOu should have a word with your ancestors and stop bothering the UN.

  12. Spain is on the Brink of losing its own sovereigny to the EU. There is no better way of distracting the population’s sights to the predicament they are in, than to raise a huge column of smoke with the Gibraltar “problem”, as as Argentina did during the Falkland crisis. But not all Spaniards are being fooled, only a few adepts of the late regime. Football, bull-fighting and Gibraltar Espanol was the cry during the serious problems Franco had with student revolts in the 1960’s – 1969..strangely enough coinciding with the closure of the Frontier. If you take good notice, you will find that the firing up of news of “more problems with the Fishermen” occur on the eve of some further bad news in their own country.

  13. “you will find that the firing up of news of “more problems with the Fishermen” occur on the eve of some further bad news in their own country.”

    So true. The fishermen are going to make the front page for a few years yet then lol.

  14. Reality

    The fact that some countries, such as the UK and Israel, choose to thumb their noses at the requirements of international law does not undermine its validity. You either accept the principle of the rule of law or you don’t – but remember that these choices do have consequences.

  15. HodgeyBoy

    It is not only Spain that does not recognise BGTW. Gibraltar is listed by the UN as a territory that needs to be decolonised by the UK. It is not an independent State and as such it does not have territorial waters.

    Moreover the Treaty of Utrecht only ceded to the UK ‘the town and castle of Gibraltar, together with the port, fortifications, and forts’ nothing else.

    This means that sovereignty over the waters was never ceded to the UK by Spain. In any case, British occupation of the isthmus and failure to comply with all its terms means that the UK is in breach of the treaty.

    It follows therefore that Spain continues to retain its sovereignty over those waters. This is recognised by the European Union which has included its waters within a new 69 square mile EU marine conservation area called the ‘Estrecho Oriental’, to be maintained by Spain.

    Under EU law, only the member State with sovereignty over the land or sea in question can apply for it to be designated an EU conservation site – meaning the EU has recognised Spain’s sovereignty over those waters.

  16. FurtherBeyond – “The fact that some countries, such as the UK and Israel, choose to thumb their noses at the requirements of international law does not undermine its validity. You either accept the principle of the rule of law or you don’t – but remember that these choices do have consequences.”

    Actually, that is exactly what it means. It does undermine the validity, because international law is only contingent on the cooperation, interpretation and acceptance of sovereign nations. A nation can, in almost every case, choose to completely reject a resolution, treaty or otherwise with impunity. They all do this and it is actually “legal” in every sense of the word.

    The “principle of the rule of law” is not the same applied to nation-states as it is to individuals. There is no authoritative force that commands a sovereign nation. International law as applied to nations is based on treaty whereas domestic law is based on force. The consequences of even a small domestic crime by an individual, such as stealing a candy bar, can actually be enforced with physical authority. The police can detain a person, physically restrain them and put them in a cell. There is no such force behind international law as applied to states – nor has there ever intended to be – because it all works on an assumption of good faith. (The only force or consequences that could be levied would be that of one nation-state against a next, e.g. a war. No state has relinquished sovereign authority of their own affairs to a global policing body.) The assumption of good faith is that two autonomous, sovereign nations are going to interpret similarly, agree and cooperate with the treaty.

    The problem is therefore not accepting or rejecting the “rule of law,” because no such “rule of law” exists between nation-states. You’re attempting to interpret international law as if it were domestic law, which is a common mistake. Wrong, but common because that is what people seem to think when they hear “international law.” We’re used to a theory of domestic law and its application on individuals within countries. Neither the theory nor the practice carries over as such to nation-states, however.

    It is also pointless for non-signatories (especially individuals) to try and say how a treaty should be interpreted. Since interpretation of the treaty creates the actual legal background of the treaty only signatory parties or others granted similar authority can interpret the treaty. No country has relinquished a complete and binding authority to the EU or the UN. The only authority to interpret and apply the treaty in this case would be that of Spain and the United Kingdom. And that interpretation (thus, the actual weight of the law) can and does change over time. The UN, Spain, EU or whatever other country or group you like could say “we interpret thus” and the UK can simply respond, “we interpret the treaty differently.”

    Right now the UK holds actual dominion over those waters – it physically controls them, polices them, holds them militarily, etc. If Spain interprets the treaty differently then it can attempt to enforce its interpretation. It could try to put sanctions on the United Kingdom, blockade the seas, pass a trade embargo, invade Gibraltar, start a war, etc. Either that, or both countries come to a mutual interpretation of the treaty (which, in actuality, they have had for 300 years) so that both countries can apply the law.

  17. Reality

    You’re mistaken when you assert that ‘there is no authoritative force that commands a sovereign nation ‘international law as applied to nations is based on treaty’.

    Under Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, any treaty that conflicts with a peremptory norm is void:

    ‘… a treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law. For the purposes of the present Convention, a peremptory norm of general international law is a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of states as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character.’

    The number of peremptory norms is considered limited but not exclusively catalogued. They are not listed or defined by any authoritative body, but arise out of case law and changing social and political attitudes. Generally included are prohibitions on waging aggressive war, crimes against humanity, war crimes, maritime piracy, genocide, apartheid, slavery and torture.

    As an example, the world court has regarded the principle that it is impermissible for a State to acquire territory through war as a peremptory norm.

  18. Reality

    The trend in international State practice is for enclaves to return to the mainland, irrespective of a valid treaty cession. For example look at the following recent examples: Goa, Hong Kong; Macau; and Walvis Bay.

    Considering current perspectives, the most likely solutions are to return sovereignty over Gibraltar to Spain or to create an autonomous status for Gibraltar within the European Union.

    Hong Kong, which exists as a Special Administrative Region of China, and Trentino-Alto Adige, where local autonomy is guaranteed by treaty between Austria and Italy, offer potential models for political accommodation.

    Key elements of a political settlement were already present in the 2002 proposal for a condominium. All indications are that a strictly legal solution to Gibraltar is unlikely.

    Even though bringing the sovereignty dispute before the ICJ could unblock the sovereignty impasse, a full and final settlement hinges on political negotiations between Spain and the UK.

    Until then, like it or not, Spain will continue to enforce EU and Spanish law in the waters of Gibraltar.

  19. BigJon

    You really should brush up on your history as well as simple arithmetic.

    The first permanent occupation of Gibraltar by the Moors was not until 1160 AD. Spanish forces under Alonso de Guzmán captured that settlement and its fort in 1309. British occupation commenced in 1704.

  20. 710 Further Beyond..710AD that was the date the Moors captured Gibraltr and from there the rest of Andalucia up to Cordoba. Look at the legacy they left you. If it had not been for the Andalusi Epoch what would you show the tourists? Miles of beaches? What about returning what you took away from the Sephardi Jews, their homes, their posessions,their lands and what about what you took away from the Andalusis? How about asking for all that money,land, homes, castles, mosques, synagogues, jewels, gold. How about the millions your Inquisidores killed Further Beyond, why dont you apologise to their descendants for that? How about it Further Beyond???

  21. Inthename

    What no mention of the English Inquisition? Why do keep trying to raise irrelevancies that have nothing to do with the facts at issue?

    As recently as the late 1890s the Australian Aborigines were being hunted for sport by the British. During the same period they completely exterminated the Tasmanian Aborigines.

    However, like your references to the Spanish Inquisition, those references have no relevance to the fact that the UN lists Gibraltar as a territory that still needs to be decolonised by the UK.

    It is the UK, not Spain that needs to shed the last vestiges of of its anachronistic empire.

    Are you still smarting from the fact that the EU has chosen to recognise Spanish, not British sovereignty over the Bay of Algeciras?

  22. Inthename

    By the way, if your going to raise irrelevant issues you might consider being a little more balanced.

    For example, you talk about the Spanish Inquisition but you neglect to mention what the English did to the Jews during the York Pogrom of 1190 AD.

    You should also be more careful about who you choose to exalt in your irrelevant references. Bear in mind that the first large pogrom against the Jews in Europe (over 3,000 massacred) was carried out by your heroes the Moors in 1066 while occupying Spanish Granada.

    Maybe that ‘legacy’ should also be considered as well.

  23. Further Beyond what a nasty little seudo intellectual you are.

    The murder of millions of truly civilsed Aztec and Inca is ‘an irrelevancy’. What you say about the English empire is quite true but the Dutch did the same in Asia – why not mention them.

    What a great shame for all that the first universities (by a long way) were destroyed by the Aryan savages who destroyed the Semite civilization of Al Andaluz.

    I’m sure from your verbal poo that you must be a lawyer, no one could spout such crap.

    There’s a line from a brilliant Reggie song – if you walk on your mouth all your teeth will fall out.

    Your like a student that never grew up – you argue for the sake of arguing – go and get a life.

    I’m quite sure that there are a lot of Gibraltarians that would like to meet you face to face and I’m equally sure that you would not.

  24. FB

    You have missed my point completely. All these massacres, the illegal repossesions, the forcing people to change their religions by torture, even their names, whether in Spain or in South America, England, Holland,the Native Americans, the Aztecs,the Maoris, the Aborigines, the holocaust,the Spanish Civil War, the Civil war in England, the horrors of WWI, WWII…it happened but now its gone, finished…its in the past, it is history, its over…just as it is history that your country does not own Gibraltar anymore, and it hasn’t for 300 years!

    The World has changed. Those that used to be enemies are now friends. In the Democratic world, people are allowed to worship where and how they want, they can be what they want where they want. But Spain, supposedly a democratic and modern country,continues to harp on about what they lost 300 years ago, three centuries for crying out loud.

    Yet on the other hand, when anyone mentions anything that your country has taken, stolen, murdered, and maimed for you get offended and you say that its a different set of circumstances, nothing to do with the issue we are discussing. You are like a child who wants to have everyone’s toys, but doesnt let anyone play with his. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine as well, thats your problem.

    Wake up and smell the coffee!!

  25. Stuart Crawford
    BigJon

    Your insults only serve to highlight the poverty of your arguments and the bankruptcy of the case you are attempting to prosecute.

    Inthename

    Well you need to be consistent then. Remember you’re the one who brought up the Treaty of Utrecht as well as the ancient history (going back to 710 AD).

    My references to the historical record are simply a response to your references and are only meant to add balance to your otherwise very slanted view of history.

    Despite your many protestations to the contrary, you’re the one that is actually refusing to acknowledge today’s reality.

    It is not ancient history that the UN still lists Gibraltar as a territory that needs to decolonised. Those resolutions are not 300 years old. They are the present day reality that you and those of your ilk continually refuse to acknowledge.

    Gibraltar’s current status as a colony also serves to distinguish it from the other territories you have mentioned (Ceuta, Melilla, Yugoslavia etc).

    That status also put into question the UK’s claim sovereignty over Gibraltar. Notwithstanding the several UN resolutions requiring Gibraltar’s decolonisation, the current trend in international State practice is for colonial enclaves to return to the mainland, irrespective of a valid treaty cession (see the following recent examples: Goa; Hong Kong; Macau; and Walvis Bay).

    This trend is supported by current ICJ case law. For example, in the Western Sahara case the ICJ found that some pre-existing legal ties of a third state to the territory colonized by some other state could in principle affect the decolonization of the territory (see para. 162 in particular). On the facts of that case, the Court did not find that such legal ties existed between Morocco and the Mauritanian entity and Western Sahara, and therefore it did not specify what the precise effect of such ties could be.
    Arguably, however, if a third state had title over the territory, which was usurped by the colonizer, this would have an effect of limiting the right of a people of that territory to internal, rather than external self-determination, as is indeed normally the case.

    No one is suggesting that the current occupants of Gibraltar should be removed, let alone removed through the use of force (even though this is exactly what the British did to the Spanish inhabitants of Gibraltar in 1704). While you may have a right to have your‘interests’ considered in the discussion over sovereignty between the UK and Spain that the UN has called for, as a person living in a colony that needs to be decolonised you have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land you live on.

    Unpleasant as this maybe for you and your ilk – those are the facts. None of which prevent me from enjoying the coffee.

  26. FB – He’s just a trolling mouth merchant if we ignore him he will go away.

    I’m a moderator on an audio forum and I would have banned him long ago, which of course this form’s moderator can do as well.

  27. @FurtherBehind: If you really want Spain to be in better condition, you should ask, very humbly, for Britian to take receivership of the whole country.
    Of course you probably wouldnt like the policies, such as rule of law, anti-corruption, anti-cronyism, and of course anti-fascisum.
    Everyone excepts that while GB may not be perfect it is the brightest candle in the dark.
    I do sympathise with your corrupted view on life. We all know Franco was not deposed, he just died of old age. And being on the wrong moral-side in the last world war. Just 2 examples of why some closenit communities here have very odd views.
    You really should try making friends and learning from your neighbours, and stop trying to steal from them.

    @stuart: as long as there’s no swearing you should not ban anyone! I for one am fed up with so many forums banning people because little jumped up moderators dont like other opinions. It can be a fine line, but its so often abused.

  28. Ilk, Mr. Moderator coming from Further Beyond wherever that Beyond may be, Goya’s nightmarish epoch comes to mind or Don Quixote “world” of fantasies, in the polite and democratic real world which is where I live, is considered attributable only to the lowest of the low and could be construed as offensive. But having read this nick’s copy pasted comments in more than one comments pages in various digital media here, in England and as far away as Australia, absolves Further Beyond’s attempts at denigration from being taken seriously as they supposedly come from an entity that does not form part of my kind of world, the world I feel comfortable in.

  29. Inthename

    BigJon

    Thank you for your support of free speech. It’s good to see that you have principles and are willing to stand by them.

    Inthename

    So you’re now trying to have me silenced? That is a sad reflection on you and the poverty of your arguments.

    You might not like the fact that I can hold a cogent argument, without insulting and degrading anyone. But that does not give you the right to silence me.

    Like you, I have right to express an opinion. I trust that the Olive Press moderator is a more reasonable and fair-minded individual that you.

  30. Me trying to have Further Beyond silenced? Further Beyond can talk till the cows or the kangaroos or the long horns come home for all I care. But I would much rather listen to Spanish Professor who holds a Doctorate in International Law Jesus Verdu from the University of Cadiz, the Spanish Catedrática in International Law Ms Araceli Mangas and the ex Spanish diplomat Jose Antonio Yturriaga who affirm that British Gibraltar does indeed have territorial waters and that Spain would not stand a chance in an International Court of law with the tired mantra that Gib has no waters. People like you would call them traitors, I would call them Spaniards who have not allowed themselves to be brainwashed since they started school.

    Here Far Beyond when you wake up in that Far Beyond Land you seem to hail from, given the timings of your contributions, spend some time reading this..

    “http://gibraltarlibre.blogspot.com.es/p/mentiras-sobre-gibraltar.html”

    I’m sorry for the non Spanish readers but the blog’s articles are obviously written for the benefit of other supposedly “brainwashed” or “fantasizing” Spaniards, although there are some passages in English and some other links, pictures, grafts, facts and figures you might enjoy browsing through.

  31. Inthename

    If you were not trying to have me silenced, then why did you refer me to the Olive Press moderator? Surely you’re not seriously suggesting that you were insulted because I used the completely innocuous word ‘ilk’?

    You either need to brush up on you English or you need to man-up a little – the word means ‘of the same class or kind’.

    I’ve had a quick look at the web-site you have referred me to. However, I was not much impressed by the quality of its pseudo scholarship. For example, the first reference suggests that the current occupants of Gibraltar have a right to self-determination. However, it does not even attempt to address the relevant legal issues.

    Even a first year international law student knows that there are legal criteria for determining which groups may legitimately claim the right to self-determination under international law.

    As previously mentioned, the current occupants of Gibraltar’s right to self-determination is highly dubious for the following reasons:

    They do not constitute ‘a people’, and only ‘a people’ is entitled to self-determination under international law.

    They are not ‘a people’ because they are not a population indigenous to Gibraltar, but were gradually settled there by Britain after it had expelled the Spanish population that lived there.

    Moreover, they are not sufficiently distinct from the British metropolitan population to be considered ‘a people’.
    Their status as ‘a people’ has never been recognized by the UN, who have consistently called them a ‘population’ but never a ‘people’. Even if they were a people, this would not automatically give them a right to self-determination that could override the Territorial Integrity principle that applies to colonial enclaves.

    The UN General Assembly has confirmed on a number of occasions that the principle of territorial integrity complements and constrains the right to self-determination (see for example: Resolution 1514 (XV) (1960) ‘Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.’).

    This is the reason why the United Nations includes Gibraltar among those Non-Self Governing Territories which STILL need to be de-colonised by the UK.

    If you’re interested in finding the truth on this issue you should stop looking at completely compromised web-sites that spout what is clearly propaganda and instead look at some real international law authorities. In this regard, you might like to have a look at the following reference by an eminent British international lawyer, and Cambridge University Professor, as just one authority which nicely sets out the relevant international law principles: James Crawford, The Creation of States in International Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979) at 377-85.

  32. Sorry Wall..I forgot you can’t listen. Somebody wrote 300 years ago “Gibraltar Espanol” on your facade and it has been ingrained into your very foundations.

    Ive given you the views of two Spanish University Professors in International Law and the views of at least one Spanish diplomat, how much more “uncompromised” could those be?

    Byeeeeee Wall.

  33. My family tree includes a direct line of ancestors of my father’s who is included in the 1777 census and had been born and residing in Gibraltar since 1753, an unbroken residency right down to me. And that could even go back further if there are still records that havent been destroyed or lost during the various seiges wars etc. So would anybody say that me and the two generations that follow me could be looked upon as transplanted non Gibraltarian in 2012?

    I wonder if some of those so called “native” Spaniards could go back as far in their own country as thousands of other fellow Gibraltarians and I can as being born and living in Gibraltar.

  34. SmallJon

    The UK is hardly ‘the brightest candle in the dark’, as you assert. You should really try to be a little more balanced. Remember that ss recently as the late 1890s the Australian Aborigines were being hunted for sport by the British. During the same period they completely exterminated the Tasmanian Aborigines.

    It is also the height of hypocrisy to suggest that Spain is ‘trying to steal’ Gibraltar when it was the UK that colonised it in the name of a pretender to the Spanish throne while it was an integral part of Spain.

    Inthename

    You seem to be impervious to the fact that your insults (i.e. referring to me as a ‘wall’)only serve to undermine whatever arguments you are attempting to make.

    Once again you’re the one that is not listening.

    You also haven’t acknowledged that your were trying to have my views silenced by appealing to the Olive Press moderator on completely trumped-up charges.

    My last post clearly demonstrated that the propaganda web-site you referred me to does not come to grips with the complexities of the principle of self-determination.

    Moreover, quoting a couple of Spanish scholars on the application of UNCLOS to the waters of the Bay of Algeciras does not address whether or not the current occupants of Gibraltar have a right to self-determination.

    Notwithstanding, the views of the Spanish scholars you mentioned, the fact remains that Spain does not recognise UK sovereignty over the Bay of Algeciras. If the UK has a problem with this then perhaps it should finally heed the many requests of the UN General Assembly, and its own commitments under the Brussels Agreement, and sit down with Spain to discuss the decolonisation of Gibraltar.

  35. FarBeyond

    I wasnt referring to you specifically in my comments to “Wall”, an entity that doesnt listen, there are many “walls” in the net that dont listen and they just carry on talking to themselves. But if you want to attribute my comments to yourself, no problem, be my guest.

    Lol I really have to laugh at your last paragraph. Notwithstanding the views that the Spanish scholars and one diplomat (that we know of because these three free thinkers have had the courage of their convictions to go against the doctrine of the Spanish Government in public, there may be many more who think the same but are held back for fear of being ostrazised) that I have mentioned in my previous comment, why don’t your Spanish Government go by the same principle you expose. Take the British Territorial Waters of Gibraltar to the ICJ as anybody who had the conviction that they were lawfully theirs would do?
    Its too hot and I am too tired to go into the United Nations advice reference Gibraltar again. Scroll back or leave off, whichever is more convenient to you Mr. Far Beyond.

  36. Inthewall

    Clearly you must be cemented tight in your proverbial ‘wall’ then, since you’re the one choosing not to listen.

    The UK also has the option of referring this matter to the ICJ if it so chooses. However, the UK is unlikely to do so for a number of reasons.

    Apart from the uncertainty inherent in any legal decision, equity requires that a party must approach a court ‘with clean hands’ when seeking an intervention. However,the UK has failed to comply with international law by not decolonising Gibraltar. It has also failed to honour its commitments under the Brussels Agreement on this issue.

    It would be a complete embarrassment, as well as the height of hypocrisy, for the UK to seek the ICJ’s intervention on the application of UNCLOS to the waters of the Bay of Algeciras, given its intransigence in not complying with its international law obligations to meet with Spain to discuss Gibraltar’s decolonisation.

    Notwithstanding, the views of the Spanish scholars you mentioned, the fact remains that Spain does not recognise UK sovereignty over the Bay of Algeciras. If the UK has a problem with this then perhaps it should finally heed the many requests of the UN General Assembly, and its own commitments under the Brussels Agreement, and sit down with Spain to discuss the decolonisation of Gibraltar.

  37. ha ha ha (o ja ja ja)
    This has been fun. All these silly comments. I wonder if you trolls are laughing as you type? Or are you white-knuckled and drapped in flags?

    For all your rhetoric, one fact remains. Gib will always be British. The locals who live there will never submit to Spanish rule – no matter which ‘side’ tries to impose it.
    (ok maybe if spain spent a few decades wooing the Gibs things might change)

    Its all rather silly dont you think. Maybe Gib gets home rule, becomes independent, and then is a full member of europe, under Brussels’ thumb. Just in time to see spain thrown out of the euro for being so corrupt…

    Rule Britainia…
    (and we’ll let a few foreign fishermen in as we wont be baited into a skirmish)

  38. as Bigjon says, Gibraltar will never be Spanish because it belongs to the Gibraltarians. Gibraltar is entitled to territorial waters under UNCLOS(82) whether Spain likes it or not AND the UN has ruled that people living in what they term non self governing territories ARE entitled to determine their future despite the best efforts of the RG’s to deny that right so they can claim that the Falkland Islanders are not a people. But deny it all you want Gibraltarians ARE a people too – we are here and we are staying here. We want to be good neighbours – the day we stop spending money in Spain and employing Spaniards, a lot of people in Spain will go hungry – so sort out your own problems FurtherBeyond and keep your nose out of where its not wanted or needed.

  39. I think FurterBeyond has proved beyond any doubt what a mighty adversary he is. He has won by 2 knockouts and 1 submission. One can only say that those lying in the canvas have shown themselves to be rude, throw low punches and to be bad loosers!

    I am not surprise they don’t want him back lol

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