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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Spratly Islands

Michael Strupp

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 February 2024

Islands and artificial islands — Exclusive economic zone — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) — Continental shelf — Territorial sea

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The name Spratly Islands (‘Spratlys’), referring to an erratic cluster of various features located in the South China Sea, is based upon accidental historic tradition, not upon compelling geographical reasons: Spratly Island proper, lending the whole agglomeration its name, lies in the extreme south-westernmost corner of the entire group and measures only 13 hectares (‘ha’), making it merely the fourth-largest formation among the Spratlys. It is exceeded in size by Itu Aba 46 ha; Thitu 37.2 ha and West York 18.6 ha. There are only 12 fully-fledged islands in...
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