Maritime Delimitation in the Baltic Sea: What Has Already Been Accomplished?

To write a legal paper for an audience consisting primarily of experts in the field of navigation, transport, ocean engineering and maritime technology is not an easy task. Finding an appropriate box to tick when having to indicate the topic of the contribution when the title of the present contribution was submitted to the organizers of the conference, represented already a first hurdle. In the list of about 90 possibilities, not one really fit the subject matter of the present contribution. This was particularly worrisome, because the instructions here read: "Choose maximum three topics." Consequently, the author would particularly like to thank the organizers of the conference for having stretched somewhat the purview of the conference in order to accommodate a legal paper. The next difficulty, of course, rests on the shoulders of the present author, for he will have to write a legal paper understandable to an audience of which not all members may be familiar with the international law of the sea. Having served as a regional expert on maritime delimitation with respect to the Baltic Sea in a world-wide project initiated by the American Society of International Law, and still ongoing today, a good number of publications by the present author on this topic have appeared in legal journals or specialized books. Despite the normal practice in legal papers of making extensive use of footnotes, the present paper will only make use of a minimum number of other references, in order to enhance its readability for non-lawyers. Instead, it will provide a listing in annex of the writings by the present author on the subject to which the interested reader, wanting to find out more concrete guidelines and information, may readily turn. The present paper, first of all, is not concerned with maritime law -- a term to be found in the above-mentioned list -- but with the law of the sea. These two concepts, even though they might have been confused in the past, are today clearly distinguished from one another. The law of the sea concerns the rules of international law governing the different maritime zones and the activities carried out there. It forms a branch of international law, for it concerns mainly the relationship between states and is consequently also sometimes called "international law of the sea" or even "international public law of the sea." Maritime law, on the other hand, is part of the national law of a state, for it deals with private interests at sea in general, and with the relationship between those who exploit ships and those who make use of them more particularly. It is therefore sometimes also called "commercial maritime law." After having clarified a few crucial law of the sea notions, the present paper tries to bring some order in the maritime boundary agreements concluded so far in the Baltic Sea. It does so by taking a major political event as caesura, namely the disappearance of the former Soviet Union from the political map of the world during 1991. Finally, some concluding remarks will try to describe the present state of affairs, while comparing it to the situation as it existed on the eve of this major political event of 1991.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01496258
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 26 2013 2:16PM