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Conclusions: Does the Concept of Historic Waters Have Continuing Relevance in Contemporary International Law?

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Chapter Summary

Some academic commentators have viewed the doctrine of historic waters as having been overtaken by the present-day law of the sea; and have noted the possibility of contemporary redundancy of historic title where such past title is now compatible with a juridical claim. There is no doubt that despite academic and judicial reservations about the existence of the doctrine of historic waters, it is still generally viewed as an established part of the international law of the sea, if only, as part of a State's acquired rights. An alternative way of looking at the whole issue of historic waters today might be to deny the need for, or existence of, a doctrine of such historic claims as applying erga omnes, and to view any traditional rules as operating, in the past and today, essentially in a subjective quoad hunc/hos fashion like some other historic maritime rights.

Keywords: acquired rights; historic claims; historic waters; international law; juridical claim; law of the sea; maritime rights



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