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The Problem of Delimitation of Bangladesh’s Maritime Boundaries with India and Myanmar: Prospects for a Solution

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

The sea areas of Bangladesh are reportedly rich in straddling fish stocks and mineral resources, including hydrocarbons. But a long-standing dispute over maritime boundary delimitation with India and Myanmar remains a major stumbling block in exploration of these resources. The overlapping claims of these three countries over the maritime zones in the Bay of Bengal need to be settled for peaceful exploration of natural resources. While India and Myanmar want to delimit the maritime boundary on the basis of the equidistance principle, Bangladesh demands that delimitation should be based on the equitable method. The special geographical circumstances of the coastal zones of these countries warrant that any delimitation, whether agreed or determined by a third party, must result in an equitable solution. The decisions of the international courts and tribunals, state practice, and the Law of the Sea Convention clearly demonstrate that there has been a shift from the equidistance principle to the equitable principle of delimitation and strongly indicate that the equitable principle is the preferred method of delimitation.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Law, University of Chittagong, Law Commission of Bangladesh; 2: Department of Law, University of Chittagong Bangladesh


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