Herbert Smith Freehills' consultant Antonio Pastor is pleased to announced the release of his book 'Delimitation of maritime boundaries between states. Insular formations and low-tide elevations' (TIRANT LO BLANCH, Valencia, 2017).
Commenting on the book, Antonio said: "There is an economic dimension of this subject matter. The settlement of maritime boundaries can have a significant impact on the economic decisions of States as well as of commercial actors. Businesses need to know which State exercises sovereignty or jurisdiction over an insular formation, and therefore to grant commercial concessions in relation to that territory."
Antonio comments further, "There are still a large number of pending maritime delimitations disputes as well as disputes on land and insular territory around the world. The South China Sea case, still unresolved, demonstrates the need to specify the applicable law and its geopolitical relevance. The purpose of this work is to discern some general principles, tendencies or common patterns of behaviour reflected in state practice and in case-law, which might lead to normative developments in maritime delimitation."
In the law of the sea, the delimitation of spaces between States is the most contentious dispute in the international courts. The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) codified principles and rules on the delimitation of the territorial sea, the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone, require that the delimitation must be equitable; all the relevant circumstances must be taken into account, and the delimitation shall be effected by agreement as far as possible. Such rules are to be regarded as having also a customary character.
There is a wealth of international State practice and judicial decision related to the use of insular features for the location of the boundary and the entitlements to maritime zones that they are capable of generating. There can also be an interrelated dispute concerning sovereignty over such features. It is important to understand and distinguish the three possible dimensions of the topic: delimitation, entitlements to maritime zones and sovereignty.
This monograph brings together Antonio's studies on the international legal regime of the islands, shoals, rocks, reefs, atolls, islets and cays. The analysis is not limited to the main categories (islands and shoals), since other features play an important role in many maritime delimitations.
Herbert Smith Freehills' Public International Law practice has considerable experience in advising both States and commercial clients on issues concerning disputed territory and delimitation of maritime boundaries.
For more information, please contact Antonio Pastor, Consultant, or your usual Herbert Smith Freehills contact.