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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Bays and Gulfs

Andrea Gioia

Subject(s):
Bays — Sovereignty — Baselines

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 Whereas the normal baselines for the measuring the breadth of a coastal State’s territorial sea is the low-water line along the coast, in certain cases international law allows for departures from that normal baseline by drawing straight lines linking the outermost base points; one such case is that of coastal indentations. Whereas the terms ‘bays’ and ‘gulfs’ are used interchangeably in the language of geography, the legal definition of a bay is applicable to all coastal indentations, irrespective of their geographical denomination as bays, gulfs, river...
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