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General Issues Relating to Historic Waters

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Chapter Summary

In one of the most authoritative definitions, given by ICJ in Fisheries case-"historic waters" were stated to be generally understood to mean "waters which are treated as internal waters but which would not have that character were it not for existence of an historic title". A State claiming to exercise certain jurisdictional rights in what usually are international waters, most particularly fishing rights. Such rights must, however, basically satisfy the same, or at least similar, supposed requirements for establishing ?historic waters' claims per se, particularly those of continuous and long usage with acquiescence of relevant other States. These claimed rights only apply on a quoad hunc basis, not erga omnes as do, arguably at least, claims to historic waters; and they may not even have the word ?historic' attached to them. Historic rights differ from ?historic waters' inasmuch as they do not amount to zonal claims of jurisdiction or sovereignty.

Keywords: fishing rights; historic rights; historic waters; ICJ; internal waters; jurisdictional rights



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