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Part B Commentary on Judgments and Awards in Maritime Boundary Delimitation Disputes, 4 Dubai-Sharjah Border Arbitration (Award of the ad hoc ‘Court of Arbitration’, 19 October 1981)

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 — Territorial sea — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) — Boundaries

This chapter introduces a case which arose out of a dispute over the land and maritime boundary between the Emirate of Dubai and the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The chapter starts by explaining the history of the area and the boundaries in question here. This arbitration, the chapter argues, represents a leading example of the application of international law to the delimitation of maritime boundaries between the internal units of a federated State. The Award was rendered on the cusp of the signature of UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and provides a useful indication of the state of customary international law at that time as regards the delimitation of territorial sea and continental shelf boundaries.

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