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The Continental Shelf of Antarctica: Implications of the Requirement to Make a Submission to the CLCS under Article 76 of the LOS Convention

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

This article looks at the question of how the obligation of states parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to submit information on the outer limit of their continental shelf to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf and the regime established by the Antarctic Treaty can be reconciled. Under the latter Treaty states have 'agreed to disagree' about the legal status of Antarctica. The establishment of an outer limit of the continental shelf on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf would pose a threat to this agreement to disagree as it would recognise the existence of coastal states and maritime zones. The article sets out the options of the states involved to deal with this issue. It is concluded that there are a number of approaches which safeguard the rights of coastal states under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the agreement to disagree of the Antarctic Treaty.

Affiliations: 1: Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea, Utrecht University, The Netherlands


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