The continental shelf is a challenging area of the Earth to analyse. It is as old as the bordering lands and as young as our knowledge of it; it is an imagined juridical space and a real physical phenomenon; it encompasses some of the most hotly disputed territory on Earth but is governed by one of the most widely accepted multilateral regimes in history; it holds the promise of economic growth for developing States and the fear of militarization for developed States. This Chapter seeks to outline the complex and often contradictory nature of the continental shelf...
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