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Maritime Delimitation: Early British Practice

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reviews the development in maritime delimitation since 1940, with particular reference to UK practice regarding boundaries of the continental shelf and fisheries jurisdiction with neighbouring states. In the 1950s significant developments were seen in the law relating to the continental shelf as a result of the work of the International Law Commission (ILC). In 1964 the UK Parliament enacted the Continental Shelf Act 1964 and Fishery Limits Act 1964. Delimitation of the territorial sea proved uncontroversial: delegations were willing to confirm Article 12 of the Convention on the Territorial Sea of 1958. To sum up, at first in the 1940s, emphasis was put on natural rights to the shelf and the need for agreement on equitable principles: some state practice, including the UK, was based on that approach.

Keywords: continental shelf; Fishery Limits Act; International Law Commission (ILC); maritime delimitation; natural rights; territorial sea; UK practice



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