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Exercise of Authority: the Need for a Formal, Clear and Consistent Claim

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Chapter Summary

Amongst the inter-related issues arising here is whether the alleged ?claim' was made in the appropriate manner. This follows on from the usually-quoted first essential in the traditional three main criteria for establishing historic waters claims; namely that a past claim to ?dominion' of the waters in question has at some time been made. The announcement of a ?claim' must have been done by the appropriate organs of the State concerned. Inter-connecting with a State-sponsored ?claim' being necessary is the requirement that this must be made in clear terms. One US commentator has stated nonetheless that American practice suggests that the ?claim' can be proven in two ways, namely by a "clearly stated federal position that the waters are part of its territory, or there may be a history of official actions that are consistent only with the existence of such a claim".

Keywords: clear terms; consistent claim; exercise of authority; federal position; historic water claims; territorial waters



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