Part B Commentary on Judgments and Awards in Maritime Boundary Delimitation Disputes, 11 Denmark v. Norway (Judgment of the International Court of Justice, 14 June 1993)
Stephen Fietta, Robin Cleverly
- Coastal states — Continental shelf — Islands and artificial islands — Delimitation — Straits — Territorial sea — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea)
This chapter examines a case which dealt with the delimitation of a maritime area located in the northern Atlantic Ocean between the east coast of Greenland and the island of Jan Mayen. The area lies to the north of Iceland and the Denmark Strait between Greenland and Iceland. This case pre-dated the entry into force of UNCLOS. This judgment represents an important step in the development and harmonization of modern international law related to the joint delimitation of continental shelf and water-column boundaries, illustrating that, even when the delimitation of the shelf and water-column is subject to different formal legal approaches, the practical methodology of delimitation and the final result are highly likely to be the same. A final notable feature of this case was the variable adjustment of the provisional median line throughout the length of the boundary, to reflect the fact that fisheries only constituted a special circumstance in the southern part of the disputed area.