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Chapter Summary

A baseline is an essential concept because from it are drawn the major maritime zones known to international law. The baseline along approximately half the South African coast is the normal baseline. The normal baseline is used on very short stretches of coast along the Cape Peninsula as well as around Marion Island and Prince Edward Island. South Africa's position with regard to the use of low-tide elevations as base points for straight baselines appeared inconsistent before the 2004 amendment. This may be a reason why low-tide elevations appear not to have been used to draw the new straight lines. Straight baselines have been drawn conservatively for the purpose of simplifying and rationalising the measurement of the South African maritime zones. Article 10 of LOSC allows a departure from the normal baseline in the case of a bay the coast of which belongs to a single State.

Keywords: international law; LOSC; normal baseline; South African coast; special baselines



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