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5 Baselines

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Chapter Summary

The baseline is an essential notion in the law of the sea. In the first situation, the baseline serves as the basis for determining the outer limits of the continental shelf. The baseline determines the location of the Area, albeit indirectly. This chapter concerns the normal baseline, and explores straight baselines in the international law of the sea. The chapter examines the issue of archipelagic baselines, a new concept codified by the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention (LOS Convention). Article 3 of the 1958 Territorial Sea Convention, to which the United States is a party, reads: "Except where otherwise provided in these articles, the normal baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea is the low-water line along the coast as marked on large-scale charts officially recognized by the coastal State".

Keywords: 1958 Territorial Sea Convention; archipelagic baselines; LOS Convention; normal baseline; straight baselines



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