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Internal waters: Customary Rules of the Extension of Internal Waters

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image of Nordic Journal of International Law

The importance of the customary regimes of internal waters for the delimitation of the other coastal state maritime zones is analyzed. The rules of baselines in the 1958 and 1982 Conventions on the Law of the Sea are not exhaustive. They are supplemented by the customary regimes of internal waters. These regimes contain few and very vague restrictions on coastal state sovereignty to delimit areas of adjacent sea as internal waters. No definite maximum mile limit has been agreed upon. The outer limits of the customary regimes are baselines for the other maritime zones. Consequently the coastal state can extend the 12, 24, and 200 miles zones based on these customary regimes with wide-ranging legal consequences.The practical result of constructive application of these regimes is-shown by possible extensions of the present Danish maritime zones.


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