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Island of Palmas Case (United States v. The Netherlands)

Permanent Court of Arbitration
2 U.N. Rep. Int’l Arb. Awards 829 (1928)


Facts

The United States and the Netherlands submitted to the Permanent Court of Arbitration the question of which State owned the Island of Palmas (Palmas). Palmas is located within the boundary of the Philippines (territory ceded to the United States from Spain as of the 1898 Treaty of Paris). Spain first discovered Palmas in the early seventeenth century and thus claimed title to it. However, Palmas was also considered by the Netherlands to be a part of its territory since it began peacefully and continuously possessing the area in 1677 or before.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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