Maritime Delimitation

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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 the Oruҫ Reis and its consequences to date, this article examines the various maritime claims of the nations most involved in this dispute – Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus – and analyses both the challenges and the opportunities that exist in achieving an equitable apportionment between these nations of the continental shelf and the hydrocarbon resources contained therein. The voyage of the Oruҫ Reis Turkey initially announced that the Oruҫ Reis would embark on a seismic research voyage in disputed waters to the west of Cyprus on July 21; however, this voyage was suspended on July 28 as a de-escalatory gesture to allow for a more conducive atmosphere for negotiations with Greece…

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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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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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