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The Continuing Conundrum of the Somali Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

Among the many challenges facing Somalia as it seeks to enable its maritime future is the continuing conundrum presented by its historical claim to a 200-nautical-mile territorial sea. However, as a degree of stability has returned, a series of important—but largely forgotten—national and international legislative and policy steps taken by the Somali Democratic Republic just prior to the onset of the civil war have been rediscovered. This has cast the issue in a new light, and raises several questions as to the consequences and evolution of the Somali legal relationship to the maritime domain. This article describes the current status of the Somali claim, with a view to illuminating the legal history behind the Somali legislative ‘start point’ for the recently filed application with the International Court of Justice in relation to its Exclusive Economic Zone delimitation with Kenya.

Affiliations: 1: College of Law, Australian National UniversityAustralia


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