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Chapter 7. The Scope for Unilateralism in Disputed Maritime Areas

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Chapter Summary

This chapter clarifies the scope for unilateralism within disputed maritime areas that are not covered by provisional arrangements. It begins by further defining the problems that coastal States face when activities are unilaterally conducted within an area of overlapping maritime claims. The chapter determines the scope of application of paragraph 3 of Articles 74 and 83 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC). Thereafter, it discusses how to interpret paragraph 3. The chapter analyses the standard of "permanent physical impact on the marine environment" as introduced in the Guyana/Suriname award and considers four issues arising from the reasoning of the Arbitral Tribunal that led up to the acceptance of this standard. It concludes by providing some final remarks. The obligation "to not hamper or jeopardize" places important limitations on the scope for the conduct of unilateral activities by States in areas of overlapping maritime claims.

Keywords: disputed maritime areas; Guyana award; LOSC; overlapping maritime claims; Suriname award; unilateralism



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