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Part C Future Challenges, 2 The Inconsistent Approach of Courts and Tribunals in the Adjustment of Provisional Equidistance Lines to Accommodate Geographical Relevant Circumstances

From: A Practitioner’s Guide to Maritime Boundary Delimitation

Stephen Fietta, Robin Cleverly

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 09 May 2021

Coastal states — Continental shelf — Delimitation — Straits — Territorial sea — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea)

This book has argued that the standard (three-stage) methodology for the delimitation of maritime boundaries under the modern law is now well established and employed in the majority of third-party dispute resolution situations. However, this chapter looks at the uncertainty that still exists around the application of that methodology in the specific circumstances of any particular case. The source of uncertainty examined here relates to the adjustment of a provisional equidistance or median line at the second stage of the process, once it has been determined that some adjustment is required for one or more geographical relevant circumstances. The approaches taken by courts and tribunals to the question of how to effect any adjustment have differed significantly, sometimes even in geographical situations that appear quite similar. This has given rise to perceptions of inconsistency from one case to the next. This section looks at the reasons why this might be so.

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