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10 Continental Shelf

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the early development of the juridical concept of the continental shelf, a concept that came to be generally recognized only in the latter half of the 20th century. It explores the work of the International Law Commission (ILC), which led to the 1958 Continental Shelf Convention, and municipal cases applying the 1958 legal regime. The chapter considers the 1982 rules, negotiated at the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III). It also examines the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, a technical body created by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) and charged with making recommendations concerning the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from a coastal state's baselines.

Keywords: coastal state's baselines; continental shelf; International Law Commission (ILC); Law of the Sea (LOS) Convention; UNCLOS III



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