Part B Commentary on Judgments and Awards in Maritime Boundary Delimitation Disputes, 16 Barbados v. Trinidad and Tobago (Award of the Arbitral Tribunal, 11 April 2006)
Stephen Fietta, Robin Cleverly
- Fisheries — Coastal states — Continental shelf — Islands and artificial islands — Delimitation — Straits — Territorial sea — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea)
The case presented here is concerned with the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, which lie off the north-eastern coast of South America. The island State of Barbados is to the north-east of Tobago. The parties had conducted negotiations concerning the use of resources (principally fisheries and hydrocarbons) in the maritime space between them over some three decades since the 1970s. The chapter concludes that the Barbados v. Trinidad and Tobago case was the first maritime delimitation dispute resolved by way of arbitration under Annex VII to UNCLOS. The entire proceeding lasted just over two years between the Barbadian Notice of Arbitration and the tribunal’s Award, demonstrating the expeditiousness with which arbitration proceedings can be completed if effectively managed.