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The Establishment of Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles by the Coastal State: The Possibilities of Other States to Have an Impact on the Process

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Article 76 of the LOS Convention defining the continental shelf might give the impression that the establishment of the shelf's outer limits beyond 200 nautical miles is a process only involving two parties—the coastal State and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS or the Commission). However, the implementation of Article 76 may affect the rights of other States. The present article discusses the possibilities of those other States to have an impact on the establishment of the outer limits by the coastal State. The article concludes that the role of other States is more pronounced in the case of the establishment of outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles by the coastal State as compared to other outer limits. Other States can in principle exert most influence after a submission has been lodged with the CLCS and the Commission has not yet taken up its consideration. The rules for establishing the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles seem to provide a satisfactory framework for dealing with the rights and interests of other States. The present analysis also suggests that States—and the Commission—may have to face complex questions concerning their application.

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


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