Maritime Delimitation

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Part II: Some Observations on the Agreement between Greece and Egypt on the Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone

Where to from here? The Greece-Turkey maritime boundary dispute The dispute over the maritime boundary between Greece and Turkey has been ongoing since 1974. As I wrote elsewhere, ‘bilateral consultations and negotiations have been unable to prevent occasional flare-ups and, as tensions remain significantly high, it may not be long before one of the not infrequent confrontations spirals out of control’. Only a few days after the signing of the Greece-Egypt Agreement, Greece and Turkey came close to an armed incident. Turkey sent a survey vessel, escorted by warships, and the standoff resulted in a minor collision between two frigates. The existing status quo is unstable and does not favour either side. It poisons bilateral and regional relations and holds hostage the multiple benefits that could be generated from the exploitation of the seabed resources in the disputed maritime area. Given the recurring tensions and vastly overlapping maritime claims, the next maritime boundaries to be determined should be between Greece and Libya, on the one hand, and Greece…

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Part I: Some Observations on the Agreement between Greece and Egypt on the Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone

Introduction Greece and Egypt signed an agreement for the delimitation of the two countries’ maritime boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on 7 August 2020. The Greek Foreign Minister said that this was a ‘historic day’: the two states had reached an ‘exemplary agreement’ that ‘reconfirms and enshrines the effect and the right of islands to a continental…

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Troubled Waters in the Eastern Mediterranean

Turkey’s dispatch on August 10 of the seismic research vessel Oruҫ Reis under escort of five naval vessels into disputed waters of the Eastern Mediterranean is the latest salvo in the legal and rhetorical battle being waged in the region’s waters, with hydrocarbon extraction rights as the ultimate prize.  After a brief discussion of the actual deployment of…

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Sovereignty has “Rock-all” to do with it… or has it? What’s at stake in the recent diplomatic spat between Scotland and Ireland?

Rockall, the tiny, remote, rocky outcrop in the northeast Atlantic – a ghostly peak of an extinct volcano – has periodically appeared in the news at the centre of a longstanding dispute between the UK and Ireland (as well as, more peripherally, Denmark (Faroe Islands) and Iceland too). This dispute has rarely flared up publicly over recent years,…

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The China-Japan and Venezuela-Guyana Maritime Disputes: how the law on undelimited maritime areas addresses unilateral hydrocarbon activities

In December 2018, two incidents brought to the fore the importance of the rules addressing activities in undelimited maritime areas.  The first incident occurred between China and Japan in the East China Sea, and the second took place between Venezuela and Guyana in the Atlantic Ocean. Whereas the establishment of maritime boundaries is the optimum choice when it…

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