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Mr. Alex Oude Elferink

Mr. Alex Oude Elferink
Director at the Netherlands Institute
for the Law of the Sea (NILOS)
School of Law, Utrecht University

BiographyBiography in PDF


Boundary Delimitation
Maritime Delimitation
International Law and Negotiated and Adjudicated Maritime Boundaries: a Complex Relationship
Although negotiations remain the main avenue for settling disputes over maritime boundaries between neighboring States, courts and tribunals have dealt with a considerable number of cases and have to a large extent shaped the applicable law. This lecture looks at the role negotiations and adjudication have been playing in settling maritime boundaries between neighboring States and the role international law plays in both processes. In relation to the former issue, the lecture looks at the place of both modes of dispute settlement in this field of the law and next considers some of the reasons for States preferring either negotiations or adjudication and considers the nature of the complementarity of both modes. The role international law plays in both modes of dispute settlement is discussed subsequently.

Video   (48 minutes)
Boundary Delimitation
Maritime Delimitation
International Law and Negotiated and Adjudicated Maritime Boundaries: a Complex Relationship
Presentation PDF document
A. Legal Instruments
Charter of the United Nations and Statute of the International Court of Justice, San Francisco, 26 June 1945.

American Treaty on Pacific Settlement (Pact of Bogotá), Bogotá, 30 April 1948, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 30, p. 449.

Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, Geneva, 29 April 1958, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 516, p. 215.

Convention on the Continental Shelf, Geneva, 29 April 1958, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 499, p. 311.

Optional Protocol of Signature concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes, Geneva, 29 April 1958, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 450, p. 169.

Treaty between Australia and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea concerning sovereignty and maritime boundaries in the area between the two countries, including the area known as Torres Strait, and related matters, Sidney, 18 December 1978, Australian Treaty Series, 1985, No. 4.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Montego Bay, 10 December 1982, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1833, p. 3.

Treaty between Norway and the Russian Federation concerning Maritime Delimitation and Cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean, Murmansk, 15 September 2010.
B. Jurisprudence
International Court of Justice, North Sea Continental Shelf, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1969, p. 3.

International Court of Justice, Aegean Sea Continental Shelf, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1978, p. 3.

International Court of Justice, Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria (Cameroon v. Nigeria: Equatorial Guinea intervening), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2002, p. 303.

Permanent Court of Arbitration, Guyana v. Suriname, Award of 17 September 2007, ICGJ 370 (PCA 2007).

International Court of Justice, Maritime Delimitation in the Black Sea (Romania v. Ukraine), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2009, p. 61.

International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Dispute concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar in the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh v. Myanmar), Judgment of 14 March 2012, ITLOS Reports 2012.

International Court of Justice, Territorial and Maritime Dispute (Nicaragua v. Colombia), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2012, p. 624.

International Court of Justice, Maritime Dispute (Peru v. Chile), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2014, p. 3.
C. Documents
D. Doctrine
H. Burmester, “The Torres Strait Treaty: Ocean Boundary Delimitation by Agreement”, American Journal of International Law, vol. 76, 1982.

S. E. Gent, “The Politics of International Arbitration and Adjudication”, Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs, vol. 2, 2013.

H. Legault and B. Hankey, “Method, Oppositeness and Adjacency, and Proportionality in Maritime Boundary Delimitation”, in J. I. Charney and L. M. Alexander, International Maritime Boundaries, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, vol. I, London, 1991.

A. G. Oude Elferink, “International Law and Negotiated and Adjudicated Maritime Boundaries: a Complex Relationship”, German Yearbook of International Law, vol. 48, 2015.

B. H. Oxman, “Political, Strategic, and Historical Considerations”, in J. I. Charney and L. M. Alexander, International Maritime Boundaries, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, vol. I, London, 1991.

B. A. Simmons, “Capacity, Commitment, and Compliance: International Institutions and Territorial Disputes”, Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 26, 2002.

R. VanderZwaag, “The Gulf of Maine Boundary Dispute and Transboundary Management Challenges: Lessons to Be Learned”, Ocean and Coastal Law Journal, vol. 15, No. 2, 2010.