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Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf and "Disputed Areas": State Practice concerning Article 76(10) of the LOS Convention

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) requires a coastal State to submit information on the limits of its continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). The Commission shall make recommendations to the coastal State on matters related to the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf. In a case where the coastal State establishes the outer limits on the basis of these recommendations, they are final and binding. However, Article 76(10) provides that the "The provisions of this article are without prejudice to the question of delimitation of the continental shelf between States with opposite or adjacent coasts". The relationship between Article 76 and the delimitation of the continental shelf between neighboring States and other "unresolved land or maritime disputes" has been addressed by the CLCS in its Rules of Procedure. The present article analyzes the significance of Article 76(10) for submissions to the CLCS, looking at the Rules of Procedure of the Commission and the submissions that have been made to the Commission to date.


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