SPAIN summoned the UK’s ambassador on Friday, 18 July over Britain’s handling of an incident near the Gibraltar coastline.

The Spanish government did not react kindly to Britain’s earlier summoning of their UK ambassador after a Spanish navy ship redirected two British vessels heading to and from Gibraltar’s port.

While the Spanish government maintains that the ships were in Spanish waters, Britain claims that they were not, arguing that the ships were sailing through definitively international waters.

The Spanish Foreign Ministry was enraged by the summoning, explaining that such an action was reserved only for very grave situations.

Since the current Spanish government took office in 2011, the Spanish ambassador has been summoned five times over disputes in Gibraltar.

64 COMMENTS

  1. You’re flogging a dead horse I’m afraid. Spain has never recognised UK ‘propriety’ over anything other than the ‘town and castle of Gibraltar’ as specified in the Treaty of Utrecht. Although this has been interpreted by some to involve a cession of sovereignty, Professor James Crawford from Cambridge University, the foremost authority on this aspect of international law, does not accept that this was so.

    The ‘propriety’ was yielded ‘without any territorial jurisdiction’. Moreover, the treaty imposes a number of clear restrictions on the cession and on the use of Gibraltar by the British. For example, a use of the maritime waters limited to those of the port, with restrictions regarding the settlement by nationalities historically hostile to Spain, the reversionary clause, and others.

    The terms of the treaty thus clearly evidence that the territory is part of Spain’s sovereign territory that is currently occupied conditionally, under the terms of the treaty, by the United Kingdom (see: The Creation of States in International Law, 2nd Edition, Clarendon Press, 2007, at Chapter 14).

    Given the loud bleatings from the UK and its colony in Gibraltar everytime they are presented with the reality that Spain does not accept British jurisdiction in the Bay of Algeciras, you would expect that the UK would be keen as mustard to try to legally enforce its alleged ‘rights’ to its unilaterally declared ‘Territorial Waters’ through international processes, rather than just impotently express its frustrations.

    The fact that it studiously chooses not to, speaks volumes about the alleged ‘legitimacy’ of its unilateral claims. Until the UK is able to do so, Spain will continue to completely ignore British attempts to assert jurisdiction in the Bay of Algeciras.

  2. Tell a lie enough..and you ll start to believe your own! Spain will always remain a Bully…they dont know that the word democracy means.They will never go to the International Courts Of Justice…to dispute any claim simply because its ridiculous to go when they know they are going to loose! GIBRALTAR. ..a tactic to divert attention from corruption and scandals. .it works ! Sad to say…but I really wish Maggie was in power. ..this would have been over in 2 min. ohhh my future grandchildren will still see Gibraltar flying the Union Jack!

  3. The only ‘lies’ being told are by the UK tabloid press and the various Gibraltar based propaganda sites I’m afraid.

    As previously mentioned, the Treaty of Utrecht contains a reversionary clause providing that if Britain should ever decide to relinquish the ‘propriety’ of Gibraltar, Spain would be entitled to reclaim it before any other option were considered; both Britain and Spain accept that this means ruling out independence for Gibraltar for as long as Spain retains its claim.
    This reality is fully documented in the latest UK white paper on Gibraltar:

    ‘…The British Government…supports the principle of right of self-determination, but this must be exercised in accordance with the other principles or rights in the UN Charter as well as other treaty obligations. In Gibraltar’s case, because of the Treaty of Utrecht, this means that Gibraltar could become independent only with Spanish consent’.

    The facts are that the UK government openly acknowledges that the right to self determination in the case of Gibraltar is not only constrained by international law but by the very terms of the Treaty of Utrecht which it refers to every time it discusses its colony in Gibraltar with the UN.

    In other words, the UK government openly acknowledges that it’s not within its power to grant its colonists in Gibraltar real independence even if they wanted to.

    The reality is that the UK has been engaged in duplicitous manoeuvrings designed to obfuscate on this issue for some time now. Great Britain, compelled to countenance de-colonization by the UN, has sought to retain its colony in Gibraltar by invalidly invoking the principle of self-determination in a clearly self-serving way (contrast the UK’s actions with its contradictory position on Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, Israeli colonies in occupied Palestine and Diego Garcia).

  4. The Spanish legal claim to Gibraltar ended 30 years after the formation of the world court system (the PCIJ) in 1922. Spain’s failure to take its case to arbitration means that it has acquiesced to British possession of the Rock through ‘extinctive prescription’. Spain had the opportunity to take its already case to the ICJ in 1969 but declined the UK’s invitation. Treaty’s are also fluid in regards to ‘human rights’ aspects hence the ‘return’ clause in the Treaty of Utrecht is invalid just like the no Jews nor Moors aspects. What was a weak legal case in 1969 no longer exists today.

  5. The UK is just playing a long game, letting uppity little Spain throw its dummy out of the pram time and time again.
    Watch this space in a few months when the UK starts slapping Spain’s wrist by placing a veto on its attempt to join the UN Security council. Rajoy and his cronies will be most upset!

  6. Spain aggressively holds onto Ceuta Mellilla and the islands off the Moroccan Coast while wanting the Uk to just give up Gibralta

    While everyone knows about Gibralta hardly anyone knows about Spains N African possessions

    a clear case of Spain doing better on the PR front

  7. Fact is, Spain no longer has a valid claim to Gibraltar. Spain’s claim lapsed in 1952 thirty years after the introduction of the world courts in the form of the PCIJ which then became the ICJ in 1946 under the rules of ‘extinctive prescription.’ Failure to take a claim to a tribunal means that Spain has acquiesced to British possession. Human rights laws which are changeable with society norms are also taken into consideration by ‘treaty law’ which means that the return clause in ‘Utrecht’ lie the no Jews nor Moors clauses, are no longer applicable.

  8. FurtherBeyond

    Here’s some chapter and verse. If you are going to contradict this supply ICJ references.

    Construction of a Wall in Occupied Palestine Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004, para 109, ‘The Court would observe that, while the jurisdiction of States is primarily territorial, it may sometimes be exercised outside the national territory. Considering the object and purpose of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it would seem natural that, even when such is the case, States parties to the Covenant should be bound to comply with its provisions.’

    International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article I (3) provides: ‘All States parties to the present covenant including those having responsibility for the administration of non-self-governing territories, shall promote the realization of the right to self-determination and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the United Nations Charter.’

    How’s your return clause in the Treaty of Utrecht looking?

  9. @Britbob

    You must be delusional if you think that your amateur musings can be in any way compared with those of the most eminent international lawyer on this aspect of international law.

    Professor Crawford observes in his 2007 monograph on the British colony of Gibraltar, that the UN General Assembly has expressly taken the view that colonial enclaves, such as Gibraltar, constitute an exception to the self-determination rule, and that the only option in such cases is for the administering authority to transfer the enclave territory to the enclaving State. The wishes of the population of the enclave are not regarded as relevant. This is especially so in the case of ‘plantations’ because they are populated to a large extent by citizens or subjects of the colonial power who settled in the disputed territory displacing a previously existing population pertaining to the enclaving State.

    In such cases, the residents are not the indigenous inhabitants of the territories and are, in effect, the beneficiaries of colonial rule. The rationale being that it would be perverse and contradictory to condone past colonialism on the strength of a principle (self-determination) which was primarily designed to dismantle colonialism.

    After considering all the applicable case law, including all relevant ICJ cases and advisory opinions, Professor Crawford concludes that the principle of self-determination has no application, or is relevant only so far as the modalities of transfer of the territory are concerned, in the case of non-self-governing territories which are colonial enclaves that have been created by colonizers on the territory of a surrounding State.

    The General Assembly’s practice indicates that it regards enclaves as parts of the surrounding States and that it accepts reversion as the most appropriate method of resolving disputes on such territories. This is especially the case when a non-self-governing territory is also subject to an existing treaty obligation. When a State, such as Spain, can prove an existing right of pre-emption over a territory, its rights take precedence over other claims, including those of self-determination.

    Professor Crawford notes that in modern decolonization practice, various territories have been transferred by the UN to the claiming State rather than being treated as self-determination units; by far the best known case was Hong Kong, but there have been a number of others.

    According to Professor Crawford of the remaining sixteen, Chapter XI territories, two, the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and Gibraltar, fall into this category.

  10. @rob

    Unlike Gibraltar, Ceuta and Melilla are not considered to be illegal colonial enclaves by the UN. They are not listed on the UN list of territories awaiting decolonisation.

    These territories pre-exist the creation of the Moroccan State – they were Spanish hundreds of years before Morocco existed. In contrast, Gibraltar was colonised by the UK while it was part of the Kingdom of Spain.

    Your reference to them is simply another attempt to obfuscate the real issues at the heart of the territorial dispute over Gibraltar.

  11. @Britbob

    Before you attempt to undermine Professor Crawford’s authoritative opinion with your amateur legal musings, I suggest that you first look at Professor Crawford’s qualifications in international law listed below for your enlightenment.

    Professor James Crawford was appointed to the Challis Professorship of International Law at the University of Sydney. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1990 to 1992. In 1985 Professor Crawford was elected an associate of the Institut de Droit International (the youngest election in modern times) and was elevated to full membership in 1991.
    In 1992, Professor Crawford was elected to the Whewell Professorship of International Law at Cambridge. In that year, Professor Crawford was also elected to membership of the United Nations International Law Commission (“ILC”). He served as Special Rapporteur on State Responsibility from 1997–2001 and was also responsible for the production of the ILC’s Draft Statute for an International Criminal Court.

    In 2000, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. In 1996, Professor Crawford assumed directorship of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at Cambridge, serving from 1997–2003 and again from 2006-2010. Since 2003 he has been a member of the Curatorium of The Hague Academy of International Law.

    Professor Crawford was admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Australia in 1977, and was called to the New South Wales bar in 1987. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 1997. Following his move to Cambridge, Professor Crawford was admitted to the English bar in 1999 as a member of Gray’s Inn, and was a foundation member of Matrix Chambers.

    Professor Crawford has built a substantial international practice. He has been engaged as counsel in 23 cases before the International Court of Justice, including the contested cases of East Timor (Australia v Portugal), Case concerning the Oil Platforms (Islamic Republic of Iran v United States of America, Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Barrage System (Hungary v Slovakia), Case concerning Pulau Batu Puteh (Malaysia v Singapore) and Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v Ukraine).

    He has also appeared as counsel for various interested parties in the following advisory opinions of the ICJ: Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Accordance with international law of the unilateral declaration of independence in respect of Kosovo.

    Tell me again – what are your qualifications?

  12. @tim

    The only party that the UK is ‘playing a long game with’ to quote your words above, is with its colonists in Gibraltar.

    As previously mentioned, Britain is on the public record that it fully accepts that the Treaty of Utrecht rules out independence for Gibraltar for as long as Spain retains its claim to the territory.

    This reality is fully documented in all its glory in the latest UK white paper on Gibraltar:

    ‘…The British Government…supports the principle of right of self-determination, but this must be exercised in accordance with the other principles or rights in the UN Charter as well as other treaty obligations. In Gibraltar’s case, because of the Treaty of Utrecht, this means that Gibraltar could become independent only with Spanish consent’.

    The facts are that the UK government openly acknowledges that the right to self determination in the case of Gibraltar is not only constrained by international law but by the very terms of the Treaty of Utrecht which it refers to every time it discusses its colony in Gibraltar with the UN.

    In other words, the UK government openly acknowledges that it’s not within its power to grant its colonists in Gibraltar real independence even if they wanted to – which they don’t.

    The reality is that the UK has been engaged in duplicitous manoeuvrings designed to obfuscate on this issue for some time now. Great Britain, compelled to countenance de-colonization by the UN, has sought to retain its colony in Gibraltar by invalidly invoking the principle of self-determination in a clearly self-serving way (contrast the UK’s actions with its contradictory position on Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, Israeli colonies in occupied Palestine and Diego Garcia just to name a few).

  13. You can quote on either side but the bottom line is Gibraltar will never be Spanish and the Spanish will never live in a democratic country until the people overthrow the fascists/communists that alternately rule their country. They might want to stop their leaders stealing all the money too?
    A fair-minded person would just let the peoples of the World democratically choose their own destiny.
    When I sold my first house 30 years ago I didn’t think to myself that it was ok anyway as I’ll demand it back when I feel like it. And as the driveway wasn’t specifically mentioned in the deeds decide not to let any cars drive up it.
    I feel sorry for people who are brainwashed into always believing their country to be in the right. I certainly do not. Then again I was taught in school not to believe everything you are told but to use your own mind to decide.
    Seems as regards the Gibraltar issue the Spanish fail to do that.

  14. FurtherBeyond,

    The cession was of “the port”, which you describe to include the waters within the harbour wall.

    Please refer to any map of Gibraltar in 1713 and tell me what “the port” means. If you can draw this line using the features that existed in 1713, I’d be grateful.

  15. FurtherBeyond Professor Crawford this, professor Crawford that. Fact is you have nothing that contradicts 4 Advisory Opinions and 1 Judgment from the ICJ that state of or confirm that ‘the right to self-determination is applicable to ALL non-self-governing territories.

    Even the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, Article 1 (i) ‘All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development’

    and Article 1ii) Provides: ‘All States parties, including those having responsibility for the administration of non-self-governing territories shall promote the realization of the right to self-determination, and shall respect that right in conformity with the provisions of the United Nations Charter.’

    Spain signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on 28th Sept 1976 and Ratified this on 27th April 1977.

    All of this -v- Professor Crawford. LOL

  16. Gibraltar is everything andalucia wants to be….. even the “colony” is more democratic than fascist spain…….. mirrorsover there, have a lonng hard look. Catalunya will be free…..gibraltar have akready made it :( we are next

  17. @Britbob

    As previously stated,you must be delusional if you think that your amateur musings can be in any way compared with those of the most eminent international lawyer on this aspect of international law.

    After considering ALL the applicable case law, including ALL relevant ICJ cases and advisory opinions, Professor Crawford concludes in his 2007 authoritative monograph on this aspect of international law that the principle of self-determination has no application, or is relevant only so far as the modalities of transfer of the territory are concerned, in the case of non-self-governing territories which are colonial enclaves that have been created by colonizers on the territory of a surrounding State. This is the case with Gibraltar.

    I’m afraid that in a contest between Professor James Crawford and yourself the professor wins hands down.

    Save yourself further embarrassment by learning how to correctly interpret ICJ decisions and opinions by reading Chapter 14 of Professor Crawford’s book: The Creation of States in International Law, 2nd Edition, Clarendon Press, 2007.

  18. @rob

    It’s not a question of how long territory is held by force of arms, as you incorrectly assert. That is irrelevant under international law.

    What is relevant, is whether the territory is regarded as non-self-governing by the UN and whether that territory was created by colonizers on the territory of a surrounding State which disputes its right to independence.

    The UN regards colonial enclaves as part of the surrounding State and views reversion as the most appropriate method of resolving disputes over such territories. This is especially the case when a non-self-governing territory is also subject to an existing treaty obligation, as is the case with Gibraltar.

    Under international law, when a State can prove an existing right of pre-emption over a colony, its rights take precedence over other claims, including those of self-determination. (see: Professor James Crawford, The Creation of States in International Law, 2nd Edition, Clarendon Press, 2007, at Chapter 14).

    Unlike Gibraltar, Ceuta and Melilla are not considered to be colonial enclaves by the UN. As previously mentioned, Ceuta and Melilla pre-exist the creation of the Moroccan State – they were Spanish hundreds of years before Morocco existed. In contrast, Gibraltar was colonised by the UK while it was part of the Kingdom of Spain.

    Unlike Gibraltar, Ceuta and Melilla are not listed on the UN list of territories awaiting decolonisation and thus the UN’s delisting criteria applying to colonial enclaves is not relevant to them.

    This is the reason why the UK has been trying so hard to convince the UN to delist Gibraltar from its list of territories that must be decolonised. Unfortunately, for the UK the UN has steadfastly refused to do this. Instead, the UN has consistently agreed with Spain’s position that the UK must decolonise Gibraltar by transferring the territory back to Spain.

  19. @Snoopy

    Spain has never recognised UK ‘propriety’ over anything other than the ‘town and castle of Gibraltar’ as specified in the Treaty of Utrecht. This was the case whilst your erstwhile heroine ‘Maggie’ was in power. However, that fact did not change a thing.

  20. FurtherBeyond. You have failed to produce ‘anything’ from the ICJ that contradicts the Four Advisory opinions and one judgment that states or confirms, ‘the right to self determination is applicable to ALL non-self-governing territories.’ In any case of conflict, Article 73 of the UN Charter prevails – declaration on decolonization – which states ‘that the wishes of the inhabitants are ‘paramount.’ In this respect, what professor Crawford states is ‘irrelevant.’

  21. Gibraltar’s territorial waters. The ICJ Gulf of Maine case confirmed that ‘territorial waters cannot be delimited unilaterally’ without consent. The ICJ Black Sea Case confirmed that statements and declarations made on signing and ratifying UNCLOS can have no implication on how the Convention is applied if it effects the way UNCLOS is applied to the nation signing or making the declaration. The PCA case between Suriname and Guyana confirmed that the median line between shared bays comes before any ‘historic title’. In the Arbitration Case between Canada and France, Canada tried to stop France having an Exclusice Economic Zone because of proximity to Canada’s mainland in respect to the Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon. The Court ruled that France was entitled to a limited 200 mile EEZ in respect of St Pierre and Miquelon. Even Spanish Foreign Minister Margallo is on record as saying, ‘unsure about case regarding Gibraltar’s waters.’ Time for Spain to act like a modern democracy.

  22. @Britbob As usual, falsifyng international texts like your absurd presentation of an unsigned essay of the New York Bar Association as a ruling of the ICJ. For instance, your descripton of the PCA ruling about the border of Suriname and Guyana as a confirmation “that the median line between shared bays comes before any ‘historic title’, when the art.:15 of UNCLOS says exactly the contrary, and the PCA ruling says that the maritime border between Suriname and Guyana, according to the rluling, “decides to deviate from the median line”. Shame on you.

  23. Olisopo. Guyana/Suriname. ‘The tribunal has checked the relevant coastal lengths and come up with nearly the same ratio of areas 51 percent Guyana and 49 percent Suriname’ (para 392) and ‘Thus Article 15 of the Convention places ‘primacy’ on the median line as the delimitation line between territorial seas of opposite or adjacent States..’ (Para 296). And, NYC Bar Committee on the UN Document Report on Western Sahara and the Right to Self-Determination Report IS signed by Katlyn Thomas and 9 other international lawyers. Katlyn Thomas, the principle signatory has addressed the UN on Western Sahara. Lol

  24. @ Britbob In this same paper and many times in The Daily Telegraph you have tried to persuade other people that a paper published by the New York City Bar Committee was, in fact, the verbatim reproduction of a ICJ ruling. For instance, on December 16th, 2013, at 8,27 pm.

    “https://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2013/12/15/gibraltar-border-watch/comment-page-1/”

    With your usual disigenuity which may beguile your readers at the Saudi Gazette you forget to quote para 297-300 of the PCA ruling on the Suriname-Guyana border which discuss the inexistence there of a historic title like the one which is invoked in art. 15 of UNCLOS, in order to deviate of the median line rule in cases like Gibraltar.

    By the way, the PCA ruling decided to”deviate of the median line rule” in a part of the maritime border between Suriname and Guyana.

    “http://www.haguejusticeportal.net/index.php?id=8298”

  25. Olisipo Yes, yes. The Suriname-Guyana PCA case dismissed historic title and stated that it gave primacy over the median line. Also, in ‘simple terms’ the press release attached to the case notes states in para 2, ‘the boundary for the most part follows the equidistance line between Guyana and Suriname.’

    Your historic title argument is pure hogwash as the ICJ decided in the Black Sea limitation case of 3 Feb 2009 that although a State can make declarations on signing, ratifying or acceding to the Convention provided that they do not purport to exchange or modify the legal effect of UNCLOS to the State that has made the declaration and as such Romania’s declarations on Security, fishing and uninhabited islands were ‘dismissed.’

    Spain would have to go to arbitration and state why it is necessary to delimit Gibraltar’s waters. The Treaty of Utrecht is irrelevant because it didn’t mention Spain’s waters either. The Cartagena Declaration of 1907 is more relevant because Spain recognised British land and Sea possessions in the Mediterranean – ships in the port, in the bay. Everything okay in 1907. No wonder Margallo said, ‘not sure about success in legal challenge of Gibraltar waters,’ quoted in MercoPress Dec 2013.

    The Gulf of Maine ICJ judgment also conforms that delimitation cannot be carried out unilaterally. So how is Spain going to delimit Gibraltar’s territorial waters? Laughable.

    Regarding the NYC Bar Association Committee on the UN – it’s a fair comment to make that ”according to the ICJ…’ When the ICJ has already made 4 Advisory Opiniosn and 1 Judgment that state or confirm ‘that the right to self-determination is applicable to all non-self-governing territories.’

    NYC Bar Committee on the UN Self-Determination Western Sahara, page 51

    ‘According to the International Courts of Justice, a State must demonstrate ties between itself and the population of a colony as a whole and over a continuous period and in a significant and formal fashion immediately preceding its colonization in order to overcome the right to self-determination of the inhabitants of the colony.’

    Now produce something from the ICJ or PCA that supports Spain’s cause.

  26. @Britbob Yours is only a rehash of the same text which you publish on a daily base in some fifty fora all over the world, what must be a full-time (well paid?) job. It is useless to repeat what I and other people have answered to those tergiversations.

    Let me put only one example. You write that the historic title which denies territorial jurisdiction (including territorial waters) to Gibraltar in Utrecht is rejected by a ICJ ruling about the validity of the declarations at the end of the instruments of adhesion to UNCLOS. Are you sure that you are sane? The latest matter has nothing to do with the article 15 of UNCLOS.

    I have realized that to answer your vagaries is a waste of time. Have a good night.

  27. @Britbob

    I have done this many times. But you’re not listening are you?

    The International Court of Justice has recognized that there are exceptions to the right of self-determination for populations living in non-self governing territories in certain particular circumstances. The exceptions are fully applicable to the colony of Gibraltar.

    For example, in the Western Sahara advisory opinion several Justices of the Court recognized the existence of territorial limitations in dicta. Justice Singh wrote in a separate opinion that situations could arise in which prior legal ties between a territory and a claimant state would bring into effect paragraph 6 of UN GA resolution 1514, and force reintegration of the territory.

    In another separate opinion, Justice Petren recognized that ‘[where] the territory belonged, at the time of its colonization, to a State which still exists today …[the claim would be] on the basis of [the State’s] territorial integrity.’

    Justice Petren also stated that ‘in certain specific cases one must equally take into account the principle of the national unity and integrity of States’.

    Significantly, at no point in the opinion did the Court recognize an absolute right to self-determination for the population of Western Sahara, a non self-governing territory. Instead, the Court engaged in an extensive exploration of Morocco’s, Mauritania’s, and Spain’s historical ties to the territory.

    The issue would have been moot under international law had the Court recognized the Saharans’ absolute right to self-determination, as you incorrectly assert. The Court decided that the historical ties between Western Sahara and Morocco and Mauritania were not sufficient to apply any territorial limitations in that particular case, but the Court clearly implied that in other appropriate cases historical ties might require territorial reintegration.

    As Professor Crawford, the leading expert on this aspect of international law points out in his recent authoritative monograph (The Creation of States in International Law 2nd Edition May 2007), there would have been no point in the Court’s detailed treatment of the Moroccan claim in that case if no third State claim could prevail over the right to self-determination.

    Professor Crawford concludes that the principle of self-determination has no application, or is relevant only so far as the modalities of transfer of the territory are concerned, in the case of non-self-governing territories which are colonial enclaves that have been created by colonizers on the territory of a surrounding State.

    Professor Crawford notes that in modern decolonization practice, various territories have been transferred by the UN to the claiming State rather than being treated as self-determination units; by far the best known case was Hong Kong, but there have been a number of others. According to Professor Crawford of the remaining sixteen, Chapter XI territories, two, the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and Gibraltar, fall into this category.

  28. Olisipo. You have failed to produce anything from the ICJ that supports Spanish point of view regarding Gibraltar’s sovereignty or its territorial waters that, as I have said, cannot be delimited unilaterally. Even the Spanish Foreign Minister doubts that Spain can win a case in the international courts.

  29. FurtherBeyond. You are clutching at straws again. Your argument is based on the thoughts of Professor Crawford which are now out if date. It was known when UN resolution 1314 para 6 was promulgated that the scope for territorial integrity referred to the relationship between individual States. This was confirmed by the 2010 ICJ Kosovo ruling which in paragraph 80 confirmed , ‘that the scope for territorial integrity was limited to the relationship between States’ . So the assumptions of professor Crawford, your nemesis, are now truly out of date. You should also remember that in any case of a conflict of interests, the UN Charter prevails – article 73 Declaration on Decolonisation – clearly states, ‘that the interests of the inhabitants are paramount. This little sentence also kicks in and overrides any return clause in the Treaty of a Utrecht.

  30. Steve :- Cueta and Melilla historically belonged to the Berbers , captured by the Portuguese and became under Spanish control when the King of Spain at the time ascended the Portuguese throne . They have been disputed by Morocco ever since as a colony they achieved independence from Spain .

  31. Olisipo

    Here’s the weakness of the Spanish historical title argument pulled apart.

    Jesus Verdu, a law professor from the University of Cadiz wrote about the Treaty of Utrecht and pointed out that inclusions of the waters was implicit in any treaty over land. The Treaty does not mention, Gibraltar waters or Spanish waters. IF Spain had intended to exclude the waters, then legally they were obliged to mention that in the Treaty and they didn’t.

    ‘The treaty of peace leaves everything in the state in which it found it unless there is some express stipulation to the contrary. The existing state of possession is maintained, except so far as altered by the means of the Treaty. If nothing is said about the conquered country or places, they remain with the conqueror and his title cannot afterwards be called into question.’ Elements of International Law, H. Wheaton, 1836, p238.

  32. FurtherBeyond

    Even IF it were acknowledged for the sake of argument that Gibraltar was part of Spanish territory, it was explained that, the principle of territorial integrity was enshrined in the covenant of the League of Nations and again in the Charter of the United Nations. Article 2 of the UN Charter provides that: members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of a State but general diplomatic and political declarations do not violate the principle. But this international legal rule applies only between States because ”members” under the UN Charter are only States. This can only lead to the conclusion that the principle of territorial integrity is the principle applied in the relationship between States and not inside a State. (International Journal of Baltic Law, Volume 2, N02,Gudeviciute, V, 2005, p50).

    And of course, this was confirmed in 2010 in paragraph 80 of the Kosovo ICJ ruling, ‘the scope of the principle of territorial integrity is confined to the sphere of relations between States.’

  33. IF for arguments sake the people of Gibraltar did have a referendum and did decide to become an automonous region of Spain ,similar to say Catalonia , Galicia and the Basque country that would mean I believe English would become one of the official languages of Spain . Job done !!!

  34. At the end of the day, Gibraltar was given to the UK, they own it, they have no intention of giving it up, and if the people of Gibraltar cannot have independence, they have made it abundantly clear that they would rather be british thanSpanish

    it is interesting still to note that the previous government entered into tripartite talks about the situation, and then the frankoist corrupt idiots led by the (Brown paper bag) Rajoy cancelled all of them and started his own agenda.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.