The Federal Government of the United States and the State of California are trying to determine who owns and has jurisdiction over the subsoil, seabed of the continental shelf and the resources located therein along the California Gulf, and the question of the interpretation of the term used in the Submerged Lands Act with regards to “inland waters”. The Act did not contain any definition for the term “inland waters”.

Ruling:
◦ The Court decided, with regards to jurisdiction that, beyond three miles seawards of the coastline, it is owned and under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Government, but with regards to what is within the three mile coastline or what is known as Tidelands, its is owned and under the exclusive jurisdiction of the State of California.

◦ For determining the definition of the term “inland waters”, as used in the Submerged Land Act, the Court ruled that, since the Congress did not give a definition to “inland waters” and pursuant to jurisprudence, the definition of “inland waters” provided for in the International Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone is the best and most workable. . . available," and adopted them for the purposes of the Submerged Lands Act.to wit:

 Any “historic bay”. landward of a straight line across its mouth. . as that term is used in paragraph 6 of Article 7 of the Convention.◦ “Inland Waters” (Par. defined essentially as a bay over which the United States has traditionally asserted and maintained dominion with the acquiesence of foreign nations. landward of its outermost permanent harbor works and a straight line across its entrance.  Any port. 2[b] Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone) waters landward of the baseline of the territorial sea and includes:  Any river or stream flowing directly into the sea.

 Semi Circle Test: Any other bay landward of a straight line across its entrance or. An estuary of a river is treated in the same way as a bay. drawn within the bay so as to enclose the greatest possible amount of water. landward of a straight line not over 24 geographical miles long. . if the entrance is more than 24 geographical miles wide.

State of Louisiana argues that the definition to be followed should be that of the “Inland Water Line” fixed by the Commandant of the Coast Guard in 1985. California. Similar case to US v. . on the interpretation of the term “inland waters” In this case The Federal Government of the United States argues that the definition of the term in question should be that of the ICTS.

as ruled in the case of US v. Ruling: ◦ The Court sustained the adoption of the definition of the ICTS regarding the questioned term. California as it follows: “the line of ordinary low water along the portion of the coast which is in direct contact with the open sea and the line marking the seaward limit of inland waters.” .

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It is the exercise of the freedoms of navigation and overflight solely for the purpose of expeditious and continuous transit. provided they proceed without delay and without threat to bordering states.  Used for international navigation between parts of the highs seas or an EEZ and another part of the high seas or an EEZ Transit passage is allowed. .

left the port of Corfu and proceeded though a channel previously swept for mines. and the destroyers Saumarez and Volage. the Cruisers Mauritius and Leander. the North Corfu Strait. Facts: ◦ A squadron of British warships. UK sued People’s Republic of Albania. Several ships struck mines and caused damage to the ships and loss of life. .

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re the duties of States bordering Straits. Issue: ◦ Whether or not Albania should be liable.  Ruling: ◦ Yes. States bordering straits shall not hamper transit passage and shall give appropriate publicity to any danger to navigation or overflight within or over the strait of which they have knowledge. Section 44 of the UNCLOS. pursuant to Part III. There shall be no suspension of transit passage. .

◦ It is the incumbent obligation of the bordering state. Albania. to notify for shipping in general.◦ The North Corfu Strait. being a strait allows other states the right of Innocent Passage. . the existence of the minefield in its territorial waters. where the ships passed and were damaged. a right which is recognized by International Law.

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. Part IV. described as archipelagic waters. of the air space over archipelagic waters and of their bed and subsoil ◦ The sovereignty of an archipelagic State extends to the waters enclosed by the archipelagic baselines drawn in accordance with article 47. Art 49 of the UNCLOS discusses the Legal status of archipelagic waters. regardless of their depth or distance from the coast.

or the exercise by the archipelagic State of its sovereignty over such waters and their air space.◦ This sovereignty extends to the air space over the archipelagic waters. and the resources contained therein. and the resources contained therein. bed and subsoil. . as well as to their bed and subsoil. including the sea lanes. ◦ This sovereignty is exercised subject to this Part. (pertains to PART IV of the UNCLOS) ◦ The regime of archipelagic sea lanes passage established in this Part shall not in other respects affect the status of the archipelagic waters.

Art 52 of the UNCLOS discusses the Right of Innocent Passage ◦ Subject to article 53 and without prejudice to article 50. Part IV. in accordance with Part II. section 3. . ◦ Subject to article 53 and without prejudice to article 50. section 3. ships of all States enjoy the right of innocent passage through archipelagic waters. ships of all States enjoy the right of innocent passage through archipelagic waters. in accordance with Part II.

suitable for the continuous and expeditious passage of foreign ships and aircraft through or over its archipelagic waters and the adjacent territorial sea. Part IV. ◦ All ships and aircraft enjoy the right of archipelagic sea lanes passage in such sea lanes and air routes. . Art 53 of the UNCLOS discusses the Right of Archipelagic Sea Lanes Passage ◦ An archipelagic State may designate sea lanes and air routes there above.

Ships and aircraft in archipelagic sea lanes passage shall not deviate more than 25 nautical miles to either side of such axis lines during passage. provided that such ships and aircraft shall not navigate closer to the coasts than 10 per cent of the distance between the nearest points on islands bordering the sea lane.◦ Archipelagic sea lanes passage means the exercise in accordance with this Convention of the rights of navigation and overflight in the normal mode solely for the purpose of continuous. expeditious and unobstructed transit between one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone. ◦ Such sea lanes and air routes shall be defined by a series of continuous axis lines from the entry points of passage routes to the exit points. .

. after giving due publicity thereto.◦ An archipelagic State which designates sea lanes under this article may also prescribe traffic separation schemes for the safe passage of ships through narrow channels in such sea lanes. ◦ An archipelagic State may. when circumstances require. substitute other sea lanes or traffic separation schemes for any sea lanes or traffic separation schemes previously designated or prescribed by it.

prescribe or substitute them. The organization may adopt only such sea lanes and traffic separation schemes as may be agreed with the archipelagic State. after which the archipelagic State may designate.◦ Such sea lanes and traffic separation schemes shall conform to generally accepted international regulations. an archipelagic State shall refer proposals to the competent international organization with a view to their adoption. ◦ In designating or substituting sea lanes or prescribing or substituting traffic separation schemes. .

.◦ The archipelagic State shall clearly indicate the axis of the sea lanes and the traffic separation schemes designated or prescribed by it on charts to which due publicity shall be given. ◦ If an archipelagic State does not designate sea lanes or air routes. ◦ Ships in archipelagic sea lanes passage shall respect applicable sea lanes and traffic separation schemes established in accordance with this article. the right of archipelagic sea lanes passage may be exercised through the routes normally used for international navigation.

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Coastal state exercises authority over the area to the extent necessary to prevent infringement of its customs.   Area of water not exceeding 24 nautical miles from the baseline. fiscal immigration. Extends 12 nautical miles from the edge of the territorial sea. or sanitation authority over its territorial waters or territory and to punish such infringement .

◦ (b) punish infringement of the above laws and regulations committed within its territory or territorial sea. Art 33 of the UNCLOS discusses the Contiguous Zone ◦ In a zone contiguous to its territorial sea. fiscal. . the coastal State may exercise the control necessary to: ◦ (a) prevent infringement of its customs. described as the contiguous zone. ◦ The contiguous zone may not extend beyond 24 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured. immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea. Part II.

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 Part VI. . or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance. Art 76 of the UNCLOS discusses the Definition of the Continental Shelf ◦ The continental shelf of a coastal State comprises the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin.

It does not include the deep ocean floor with its oceanic ridges or the subsoil thereof. The continental margin comprises the submerged prolongation of the land mass of the coastal State. The continental shelf of a coastal State shall not extend beyond the limits provided for in paragraphs 4 to 6. .◦ 1. the slope and the rise. ◦ 2. and consists of the seabed and subsoil of the shelf.

the foot of the continental slope shall be determined as the point of maximum change in the gradient at its base. or  (ii) a line delineated in accordance with paragraph 7 by reference to fixed points not more than 60 nautical miles from the foot of the continental slope. ◦ (b) In the absence of evidence to the contrary. by either:  (i) a line delineated in accordance with paragraph 7 by reference to the outermost fixed points at each of which the thickness of sedimentary rocks is at least 1 per cent of the shortest distance from such point to the foot of the continental slope. the coastal State shall establish the outer edge of the continental margin wherever the margin extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.◦ 4. (a) For the purposes of this Convention. .

500 metres.◦ 5. The fixed points comprising the line of the outer limits of the continental shelf on the seabed. .500 metre isobath. which is a line connecting the depth of 2. either shall not exceed 350 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured or shall not exceed 100 nautical miles from the 2. drawn in accordance with paragraph 4 (a)(i) and (ii).

◦ 6. This paragraph does not apply to submarine elevations that are natural . the outer limit of the continental shelf shall not exceed 350 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured. on submarine ridges. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 5.

This case is concerned with the delimitation of the continental shelf in the north sea. while Germany opposed as it would disproportionately reduce its area. which involved Denmark. . and Germany. due to the concave German Coastline. This is the first instance of continental shelf before any court. the Netherlands. Denmark and the Netherlands both wanted to apply the equidistance principle.

(Prof.◦ In the book written by Keith Highet. an American Lawyer who handled the most cases before the International Court Of Justice. into and under the high seas. Harry Roque) . via the bed of its territorial sea which is under full sovereignty of the coastal sea. the elaboration of the ICJ with regards to the continental shelf in this case is about the “natural prolongation principle” (NPC for brevity).(Keith Highet) ◦ NPC – natural prolongation or continuation of land territory or domain or land sovereignty of the coastal state.

. The choice and application of the appropriate technical methods would be a matter for the parties.◦ Criteria Considered in determining the Continental Shelf  Geology – an area physically extending the territory of a coastal state.  Geography  Unity of any deposits – natural resources found therein  Reasonable degree of proportionality – delimitation of continental shelf may cause irregularities due to the geomorphology of the coastal state.

Italy (north). The coast of Libya is significantly larger that that of Malta. Greece (west). Hence this case was brought to the ICJ for the delimitation of the continental shelf between Libya and Malta. Malta is a group of islands situated in the Mediterranean south of Italy.◦ The Mediterranean is bordered by Tunisia (east). and Libya (south). .

It must be affected by the application of equitable principles in all the relevant circumstances in order to achieve an equitable result. equitableness of result is primary. . The UNCLOS does not provide a strict process in delimiting the boundaries of a coastline. Ruling: ◦ The ICJ ruled this case finally disposing of with the “natural prolongation principle”. ◦ In the delimiting of boundaries. This principle is only to be made complementary.

 Respect due to all. “equity does not necessarily imply equality” .  Compensating for irregularities of nature. and  Although all States are equal before the law.◦ In delimiting the boundaries in this case these are the equitable factors considered:  No refashioning of geography.  Non-encroachment by one State over the other by natural prolongation.

Economic position of the parties. . Security conditions.◦ Factors not to be considered in the delimiting of boundaries:     Landmass. and The principle of equality.

 Libya and Tunisia requested the ICJ to determine what principles and rules of International Law may be applied for the delimitation of the continental shelf appertaining to Libya and that of Tunisia. Decide. In this case the are to be delimited is a single continental shelf. .

. This method involves the drawing of two lines. and at the same time disregarding the island totally. The court proclaimed that the method of delimitation should be The Method of Half-effect.◦ Since there is only one continental shelf appertaining to the natural prolongation of both states. Using the arguments of both states and the bathymetric measurement of the ocean floor. the principle of natural prolongation cannot be used. the ICJ derived the delimitation of the continental shelf. one which gives full effect to the by the delimitation process used.