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The Icelandic Fisheries Cases

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Chapter Summary

The dispute between Iceland, on the one hand, and the Federal Republic of Germany and the United Kingdom, on the other, arose in the summer of 1971 when a newly elected Government in Reykjavik decided to extend its fishery limit from 12 to 50 nautical miles. Given the refusal of Iceland to participate in the proceedings, the Court had to apply Article 53 of its Statute concerning non-appearance. The Icelandic Fisheries Cases are perhaps cited more often on points of treaty law than the law of the sea. The decision on jurisdiction was given less than four years after the adoption of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in 1969. The United Kingdom was able to reach an Interim Agreement with Iceland in 1973, that is to say, in the midst of the proceedings in The Hague.

Keywords: Germany; Hague; Icelandic Fisheries Cases; Interim Agreement; law of the sea; Law of Treaties; Reykjavik; treaty law; United Kingdom; Vienna Convention



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