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International Court of Justice

1. Consider whether it is ever possible for a state to find itself in a contentious case at the International Court of Justice without having given its consent.2.“The criteria for statehood are clearly stated in international law, although not always clearly applied by the international community in practice.”3.As a result of volcanic activity, a new island is created in the sea off the coast of Sealand although outside Sealand territorial seas. The new island comes to be known as Redland after the colour of its soil.Sealand considers Redland to be part of its territory because it is closest, but makes no official statement to that effect. The island terrain is not very suitable for habitation, but Sealand builds a scientific observatory on Redland which is manned by researchers for the government’s science department with support staff, all working there on a temporary basis. The research team manager has been designated a “special constable” with limited police powers to keep order. The Government extends all Sealand laws to cover Redland.Fishland state realises that the island would make a useful base for operations for its fishing fleet. Fishland sends a naval force to land and plant the flag, and then announces in various shipping journals that it claims Redland as its territory. Sealand is unaware of the claim.For several years the Fishland fishing fleet regularly stops at the island in the fishing season, and housing is built there for the purpose. The base is on the other side of the island from the observatory, and the two groups of people pay little attention to each other.Twenty years later, natural gas is discovered off the coast of Redland. Both Sealand and Fishland want to exploit the reserves and realise that they are in competition for sovereignty over Redland. While they are attempting to negotiate a solution, a third state, Imperia, invades Redland by force and claims the island for itself. Fishland fears that negotiations with Sealand are going badly, and offers to sell Redland to Imperia for payment of an agreed price. Imperia accepts, and a treaty is signed by both parties passing title over Redland to Imperia.Advise the Sealand government about the international law issues arising in this scenario.


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