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Chapter 3. The Role of Islands in the Generation of Boundaries at Sea

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is a primer in the ways the law uses islands in generation of maritime boundaries. It considers first the definition of the word "island" as it is used in drawing of international maritime boundaries. The chapter provides a brief treatment of the ways islands are used in drawing those boundaries. It takes a fleeting look at emerging island issues in this time of accelerating sea-level rise. The chapter considers aspects of the concept of "island" that one might have thought would be history by now. Islands have played a significant role in several maritime-boundary delimitation decisions. Article 121(2) of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) provides that, with one noteworthy exception, "the territorial sea, the contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the continental shelf of the island are determined in accordance with the provisions of the Convention applicable to other land territory.

Keywords: contiguous zone; exclusive economic zone (EEZ); international maritime boundaries; islands; LOSC; territorial sea



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