Publication Details

S. B. Kaye, 'Lessons learned from the Gulf of Maine case: the development of maritime boundary delimitation jurisprudence since UNCLOS III' (2008) 14 (1) Ocean and Coastal Law Journal: legal and policy journal on US Ocean and coastal law 73-99.

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The Chamber of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its judgment on the location of the maritime boundary between Canada and the United States in the Gulf of Maine, on October 12, 1984. Less than two years before, after many years consideration, and an almost complete failure of consensus during the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III),1 the international community adopted the text of Articles 74 and 83 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.2 These two almost identically-worded articles provided the formula for delimiting the maritime boundaries between States' exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and continental shelves. They provide, in part, as follows: The delimitation of the exclusive economic zone/continental shelf between States with opposite or adjacent coasts shall be effected by agreement on the basis of international law, as referred to in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, in order to achieve an equitable solution.3

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