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Svalbard's Maritime Zones: The End of Legal Uncertainty?

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This paper argues that Norway, by fixing the extension of the continental shelf around the Svalbard archipelago according to criteria set by the Law of the Sea Convention, may see an end to some of the legal controversies regarding the maritime zones around Svalbard. The process of determining the outer limits of the continental shelf area adjacent to Svalbard is adduced as supporting the view that Norway is entitled to establish maritime zones around the archipelago, including an exclusive economic zone. It does not settle whether the provisions of the Svalbard Treaty apply to such zones, but is adduced as supporting the view that Norway may exercise coastal state jurisdiction in these areas.


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Affiliations: 1: Senior Research Fellow, Department of Political Science, University of Tromsø, Norway; 2: Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Tromsø, Norway


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