Part B Commentary on Judgments and Awards in Maritime Boundary Delimitation Disputes, 14 Newfoundland and Labrador v. Nova Scotia (Awards of the Tribunal in the First and Second Phases of an Arbitration Concerning Portions of the Limits of the Parties’ Respective Offshore Areas, Dated 17 May 2001 and 26 March 2002 Respectively)
Stephen Fietta, Robin Cleverly
- Coastal states — Continental shelf — Islands and artificial islands — Delimitation — Straits — Territorial sea
The case of this chapter was over a dispute between two Canadian provinces (the Province of Nova Scotia and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador) over the boundary between their respective ‘offshore areas’ for the purposes of certain Canadian legislation. The delimitation was between the island of Newfoundland, on the one hand, and Cape Breton and the south-east portion of Nova Scotia’s mainland, on the other. The chapter argues that the Newfoundland and Labrador/Nova Scotia arbitration, while a sui generis case arising out of an inter-provincial Canadian dispute, has made a significant contribution to the development of the international law jurisprudence on maritime boundary delimitation. The case also provides an example of a tribunal constructing a true equidistance line at the first stage of the delimitation process, before the consideration of adjustment for relevant circumstances such as the presence and disproportionate effect of small islands.