Part B Commentary on Judgments and Awards in Maritime Boundary Delimitation Disputes, 20 Bangladesh v. Myanmar (Judgment of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, 14 March 2012)
Stephen Fietta, Robin Cleverly
- Coastal states — Islands and artificial islands — Delimitation — Straits — Territorial sea — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea)
The chapter starts by introducing the area in question in this case. Bangladesh and Myanmar are States with adjacent coasts in the Bay of Bengal, which is in the north-eastern Indian Ocean and is bordered by Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. Bangladesh and Myanmar engaged in a series of maritime boundary negotiations between 1974 and 1986, and again between 2008 and 2010. The chapter examines the case in detail and presents some concluding remarks. Some eighteen years after the entry into force of UNCLOS, the Bangladesh v. Myanmar judgment represented the first foray of ITLOS into the field of maritime boundary delimitation. The territorial sea delimitation was notable for its treatment of St Martin’s Island, a significant Bangladesh feature located close to the Myanmar coast. This aspect of the judgment confirms the tendency in modern territorial sea boundary delimitation to give full effect to all but the most insignificant island features in territorial sea delimitations.