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3 The Development of Sovereign Rights to Continental Shelf Resources

From: The Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles: Rights and Responsibilities

Joanna Mossop

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 05 May 2021

Natural resources — Marine living resources — Coastal states — Continental shelf — High seas — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) — Customary international law

This chapter outlines the development of the continental shelf regime and addresses some fundamental questions about the nature of coastal State rights. It examines the historical development of the continental shelf regime from the Truman Proclamation, to the Convention on the Continental Shelf, to the Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC). It also sets out the historical basis for the inclusion of sedentary species in Part VI of the LOSC. The chapter then gives a brief overview of the process for the delineation of the outer limits of the continental shelf and the operation of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). The chapter argues that coastal States have rights to the resources of the continental shelf beyond 200 nm, independently of the issuance of any recommendations from the CLCS. Finally, it evaluates the status of articles 76 and 82 of the LOSC under customary international law.

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