Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas
Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, 2012
7 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 4, 2012
Few sovereignty disputes are as intractable as the one over the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas. Fruitless diplomatic efforts to resolve the sovereignty dispute over the Islands span more than two hundred years, though Argentina and the UK negotiated in earnest for the first time only from 1965 to 1982. In 1982, the tension generated by the simmering territorial dispute led to a two-month armed conflict. Argentina’s claim to sovereignty over the Islands is based on original territorial acquisition by Spain, continued Spanish occupation from 1764 to 1811 and succession to Spanish sovereignty, taking of possession in 1820 and occupation until 1833. It clashes with Britain’s claims based on discovery, occupation from 1765-1774 and continuance of her claim after departure in 1774, effective administration since 1833 and the wishes of the Falkland Islanders. The modern sovereignty dispute is indirectly linked to the larger sovereignty dispute over Antarctica. As the gateway to Antarctica and Cape Horn, and the potential for natural resources in the surrounding seas, the Islands have strategic and economic significance. This entry examines the history, law and politics of this sovereignty dispute, and attempts at its resolution.
Keywords: Falklands; Malvinas; Antarctica; sovereignty; Argentina; United Kingdom
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation