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Sand, Fish and Sea: A Legal Reflection on Islands—From Orkney to Vanuatu

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

It might be thought that the Orkney and Shetland Islands to the north of Scotland have little in common with the tropical islands in the South Pacific region. This article demonstrates that islands across time and space can share many similar concerns by reflecting on a number of legal issues which either have been or are pertinent to islands in both hemispheres, taking into account the role and relevance of customary or traditional law, the influence of introduced or colonial law, and the legal consequences of political domination of one group by another. In particular the article looks at the challenges presented where there is more than one system of law or set of rules applicable to questions of ownership of the sea, the seashore and fishing, and the consequences this can have for management and control of marine resources.


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