The importance of islands under international law has fluctuated over time, but it is only since the creation of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the precise delineation of the continental margin, two new concepts introduced during the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III, 1973–1982), that the issue became a focal point of international attention. Up until then, reliance on the well-established principle of ‘la terre domine la mer’1 proved sufficient for islands, just as land, to generate maritime zones off their coast. At a time...
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