Sunday, March 25, 2012

The North Sea Continental Shelf Cases brief

The North Sea Continental Shelf Cases (ICJ, 1969; p. 155)
  • Gr v. Denmark—What are the principles and rules of intl law that are applicable to the delimitation as btwn the parties of the areas of the continental shelf in the North Sea which appertain to each of them beyond the partial boundary determined by the 1965 convention?
  • Holding: No one way can be determined. It must be carried out under equitable principles tailored to the circumstances. Court emphasizes that equity does not equal equality.
  • Thalweg principle—boundary is in the middle of the deepest part of channel.
  • Continental shelf—normally a country can use the resources in this.
  • Equidistant principle—one option (see p. 157) This is not an inherent necessity of the continental shelf doctrine. With certain geographies, this leads to inequity—as may be the case here.
  • Geneva Convention on the Continental Shelf 1958—Denmark and Netherlands are parties, but Gr is not b/c Gr did not ratify it. D and N suggest that Gr is bound by manifested acceptance—ct says it is not likely it cld be bound in this way. Ct says there is also no evidence of estoppel. Ct also says that this agreement did not codify existing customary law. Ct also rejects the idea that the treaty has since become custom.

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