Maritime Delimitation

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A Commentary on the Dispute Concerning the Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v Kenya)

On 12 October 2021, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its long-awaited judgment in the case of Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v Kenya) on the location of the maritime boundary between Somalia and Kenya. Kenya refused to participate in the oral proceedings on the merits, as discussed here and here. Nonetheless, the Court was satisfied that it had all the necessary information about Kenya’s views, including arguments advanced by Kenya in previous phases of the proceedings. As will be seen, the Court applied its ‘standard’ delimitation methodology. The three-stage approach to delimiting the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf involved drawing a provisional equidistance line from the chosen base points; adjusting this provisional line for equity in light of the relevant circumstances; and ensuring that the proportionality requirements were met. The final boundary delimitation line between Somalia and Kenya is an adjusted equidistance line, which favours Somalia’s position. This post is divided into two parts. First, it provides a brief background of the…

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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…

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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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