The Jurisprudence of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in 2017
This Note focuses on the Judgment handed out by a special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in a dispute concerning delimitation of maritime areas between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. This is the only decision of substance of ITLOS during 2017. Among the elements of particular interests of the Judgment the following should be noted. First, the consideration and rejection of the argument that oil concession practice may constitute a tacit agreement. Second, the reliance, however limited to this case, as regards delimitation of the territorial sea on the same methodology used for the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf, namely, the equidistance/relevant circumstances methodology. Third, the distinction between the function of the Chamber in delimiting the continental shelf beyond 200 nm and that of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in delineating the outer limits of the shelf. Fourth, the examination of the question of whether the Chamber had jurisdiction to decide on questions of responsibility, and of the applicability of customary international law thereto. Fifth, the statement that to adjudicate on the claim that Ghana had contravened the Chamber’s Order on provisional measures belonged to the Chamber’s “inherent competence”. Sixth, the analysis of the regime of contested areas in light of Article 83 of UNCLOS.
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