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The Issues Concerning the Continental Shelf: Reflections

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image of International Community Law Review

The concept and the process of development of the regime of the continental shelf began in the 1930s when the exploration for oil and natural gas extended to the submarine areas of some coastal states. An orderly process was prescribed in the Gulf of Paria Treaty of 1942. The doctrine of the Continental shelf received an impetus in the Truman Proclamation of 1945. In light of the unilateral declarations by coastal states, and to ensure an orderly process, States concluded the 1958 Geneva Convention on the Law of the Sea. The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea codified the existing laws and is still in force. In this age of rapid technological advancement, the law has provided the necessary guidelines and controls for orderly exploration and exploitation in the continental shelf and will continue to keep abreast of technological advancement.

Affiliations: 1: International Tribunal for Law of the


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