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4 Baselines

Coalter G Lathrop

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Law of the Sea

Edited By: Donald R. Rothwell, Alex G. Oude Elferink, Karen N. Scott, Tim Stephens

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 17 May 2021

Baselines — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) — International procedural law

This chapter sets out the international law of baselines and identifies past, present, and possible future problems in this area of the law of the sea. It begins by considering the so-called ‘normal baseline’, consisting of the low-water line along the coast, and asks whether this baseline is fixed or ambulatory. It examines specific categories of coastal features that make up the normal baseline, including human-made coastal defences, harbour works, low tide elevations, and reefs. It then turns to the various baselines formed by straight line segments, including lines closing mouths of rivers, bay closing lines, port closing lines, straight baselines (stricto sensu), and archipelagic baselines.

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