Maritime Delimitation

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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 comes to the creation of a stable and secure environment for the conduct of maritime activities, the UN Law of the Sea Convention 1982 (‘LOSC’ or ‘the Convention’) provides for the regulation of operations even in the absence of maritime delimitation. With a view to avoiding tension, Articles 74(3) and 83(3) LOSC impose two obligations upon states having overlapping entitlements/claims in a given undelimited maritime area. This post scrutinises the behaviour of the parties involved in the aforementioned disputes through the lens of the LOSC. The factual background On the 3rd of December 2018, Japan protested China’s deployment of a jack-up rig and the drilling of boreholes near the provisional median line between…

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Taking the party line on the South China Sea Arbitration

I recently posted here on the extraordinary 500-page “Critical Study” of the Awards in the South China Sea Arbitration published by the Chinese Society of International Law (CSIL) in Oxford University Press’ Chinese Journal of International Law. The piece drew a number of interesting comments, the most interesting from Professor Bing…

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A new twist in the South China Sea Arbitration: The Chinese Society of International Law’s Critical Study

On Monday 14 May 2018 the Chinese Journal of International Law, an Oxford University Press journal, published an extraordinary 500 page “Critical Study” of the Awards on jurisdiction and the merits in the South China Sea Arbitration between the Philippines and China. Readers will recall the case was brought under the UN Convention on the Law of…

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Part II: Analysis of Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean

An overview of the Ghana/Côte d’Ivoire judgment is provided in the first part of this post. The purpose of this second part is to highlight issues of practical significance which flow from the judgment. In two important ways, the Ghana/Côte d’Ivoire judgment has demonstrated the functionality of dispute resolution processes under Part XV of…

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Part I: Analysis of Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean

On 23 September 2017, the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) rendered an award in Ghana/Côte d’Ivoire. It is only the second case, following the Guyana/Suriname Arbitration of 2007, in which an international adjudicating body has ascertained the meaning and scope of Articles 74(3) and 83(3) of the United…

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