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Prof. Malcolm Shaw

Mr. Malcolm Shaw
The Sir Robert Jennings Professor of International Law
University of Leicester

Biography Biography in PDF

Boundary Delimitation
Maritime Delimitation 
Principles of Maritime Delimitation
Of particular importance in boundary issues is the question of the delimitation of maritime boundaries. The major applicable principles, as they have evolved in caselaw and treaties, will be briefly outlined in this lecture.


Original Lecture
English  (37 minutes)

Lecture with simultaneous interpretation
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Territorial Disputes
The International Legal Principles Relating
to Territorial Disputes:
The Acquisition of Title to Territory
Despite globalisation, territorial sovereignty remains at the heart of international law while the rules that evolved to regulate the acquisition and loss of territory remain of critical importance. This lecture will review succinctly the leading principles as laid down in case law and international practice.

Video    (48 minutes)


Settling Territorial Disputes
Recognising the importance of the international regulation of territorial disputes, international law has established a range of mechanisms for peaceful settlement. Whether binding in law as such or not or involving third parties such as courts or international organisations or not, such mechanisms will be briefly reviewed in this lecture.

Video    (44 minutes)
Boundary Delimitation
Maritime Delimitation 
Principles of Maritime Delimitation
Outline of Lecture (17.2 KB)
A. Legal Instruments
Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, The Hague, 29 July 1899.

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

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

Territorial Sea Act (UK), 1987, c. 49.
B. Jurisprudence
International Court of Justice, North Sea Continental Shelf, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1969, p. 3.

International Court of Justice, Continental Shelf (Tunisia/Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1982, p. 18.

International Court of Justice, Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary in the Gulf of Maine Area, Judgment, 1.C.J. Reports 1984, p. 246.

Arbitral Tribunal, Delimitation of the maritime boundary between Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, Decision of 14 February 1985, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 19, p. 149.

International Court of Justice, Continental Shelf (Libyan Arab Jarnahiriya/Malta), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1985, p. 13.

Arbitral Tribunal, Delimitation of maritime areas between Canada and France, Decision of 10 June 1992, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 21, p. 265.

Permanent Court of Arbitration, Award of the Arbitral Tribunal in the first stage
of the proceedings between Eritrea and Yemen (Territorial Sovereignty and Scope of the Dispute), Decision of 9 October 1998, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 22, p. 209.

Permanent Court of Arbitration, Award of the Arbitral Tribunal in the Second Stage
of the Proceedings between Eritrea and Yemen (Maritime Delimitation), Decision of 17 December 1999.

International Court of Justice, Maritime Delimitation and Territorial Questions between Qatar and Bahrain, Merits, Judgment of 16 March 2001, I.C.J. Reports 2001, p. 40.

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, Award of the Arbitral Tribunal in proceedings between Barbados and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Decision of 11 April 2006.

Permanent Court of Arbitration, Award of the Arbitral Tribunal in proceedings between Guyana and Suriname, Decision of 17 September 2007.

International Court of Justice, Territorial and Maritime Dispute between Nicaragua and Honduras in the Caribbean Sea (Nicaragua v. Honduras), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2007, p. 659.
C. Documents
Conciliation Commission on the Continental Shelf area between Iceland and Jan Mayen, Report and recommendations to the governments of Iceland and Norway, Decision of June 1981, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 27, p. 1.

Ronald Reason, Territorial Sea of the United States of America, Proclamation 5928, 27 December 1988.

Handbook on the Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries, United Nations, New York, 2000.

Submission by the Russian Federation to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, 20 December 2001.

Submission by Australia to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, 15 November 2004.

Recommendations of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in regard to the Submission made by Australia on 15 November 2004, Adopted by the Commission on 9 December 2008.

Joint Submission by France, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, 19 May 2006.
D. Doctrine
N. Antunes, Towards the Conceptualisation of Maritime Delimitation, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden/Boston, 2003.

J. I. Charney and L. M. Alexander (editors), International Maritime Boundaries, vols. 1-3, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht, 1993/1998.

J. I. Charney and R.W. Smith (editors), International Maritime Boundaries, vol. 4, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague, 2002.

R. Churchill and V. Lowe, The Law of the Sea, 3rd edition, Juris Publishing Inc., Manchester, 1999, in particular Chapter 10.

D. A. Colson and R. W. Smith, International Maritime Boundaries, vol. 5, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague, 2005.

M. D. Evans, Relevant Circumstances and Maritime Delimitation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1980.

R. Lagoni and D. Vignes (eds.), Maritime Delimitation, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden/Boston, 2006.

M. N. Shaw, International Law, 6th edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008, in particular Chapter 11.

Y. Tanaka, Predictability and Flexibility in the Law of Maritime Delimitation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006.

P. Weil, The Law of Maritime Delimitation: Reflections, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989.

Territorial Disputes
International Legal Principles Relating to Territorial Disputes
(The Rules Governing the Acquisition of Title to Territory)
Outline of Lecture PDF document (13.5 KB)
A. Legal Instruments
Treaty of Paris, Paris, 10 December 1898.

Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1904, Paris, 13 February 1904.

Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice, Geneva, 13 December 1920, League of Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 6, p. 390.

General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 (Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples).

General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970 (Declaration of Principles of Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations).

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, New York, 16 December 1966, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 993, p. 3.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, New York, 16 December 1966, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 999, p. 171.

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Vienna, 23 May 1969, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1155, p. 331.
B. Documents
Organization of African Unity, Border Disputes Among African States, Resolutions Adopted by the First Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, Cairo, 17-21 July 1964, AHG/Res. 16(I).

Security Council resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967.

Conference on Yugoslavia, Arbitration Commission, Opinion No. 2, 11 January 1992 (reproduced in International Law Reports, vol. 92, 2003, p. 167).

Settling Territorial Disputes
Outline of Lecture (13.5 KB)
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, Bogota, 30 April 1948, Organization of American States, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 17, p. 61.

European Convention for the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, Strasbourg, 29 April 1957, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 320, p. 243.

General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970 (Declaration of Principles of Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations).

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

Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, Vienna, 22 March 1985, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1513, p. 293.

Framework Agreement on the Peaceful Settlement of the Territorial Dispute between the Republic of Chad and the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Algiers, 19 September 1989, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1545, p. 7.
B. Jurisprudence
Arbitral Tribunal, Alabama Claims of the United States of America against Great Britain, Decision of 14 September 1872, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 29, p. 125.

Arbitral Tribunal, Award between the United States and the United Kingdom relating to the rights of jurisdiction of United States in the Bering’s sea and the preservation of fur seals, Decision of 15 August 1893, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 28, p. 263.

Arbitral Tribunal, Award regarding the Boundary between the Colony of British Guiana and the United States of Venezuela, Decision of 2 October 1899, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 28, p. 331.

International Court of Justice, Corfu Channel Case, Judgment of 9 April 1949, I.C.J. Reports 1949, p. 4.

The Indo-Pakistan Western Boundary Case Tribunal, The Indo-Pakistan Western Boundary (Rann of Kutch) between India and Pakistan (India, Pakistan), Arbitral Award of 17 February 1968, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 17, p. 1.

International Court of Justice, Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p. 12.

Permanent Court of Arbitration, Dispute between Argentina and Chile concerning the Beagle Channel, Arbitral Award of 17 February 1977, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 21, p. 53.

Arbitral Tribunal, Delimitation of Continental Shelf between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the French Republic, Decision of 30 June 1977-14 March 1978, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 18, p. 3.

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

International Court of Justice, Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary in the Gulf of Maine Area, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1984, p. 246.

Court of Arbitration, Case concerning the location of boundary markers in Taba between Egypt and Israel, Decision of 29 September 1988, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 22, p. 1.

International Court of Justice, Land, Island and Maritime Frontier Dispute (El Salvador/ Honduras: Nicaragua Intervening), Judgment of 11 September 1992, I.C.J. Reports 1992, p. 351.

International Court of Justice, Territorial Dispute (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya/Chad), I.C.J. Reports 1994, p. 6.

International Court of Justice, Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1996, p. 226.

International Court of Justice, Legality of the Use by a State of Nuclear Weapons in Armed Conflict, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1996, p. 66.

Permanent Court of Arbitration, Award of the Arbitral Tribunal in the first stage of the proceedings between Eritrea and Yemen (Territorial Sovereignty and Scope of the Dispute), Decision of 9 October 1998, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 22, p. 209.

Permanent Court of Arbitration, Award of the Arbitral Tribunal in the Second Stage of the Proceedings between Eritrea and Yemen (Maritime Delimitation), Decision of 17 December 1999.

Permanent Court of Arbitration, Larsen/Hawaiian Kingdom, Arbitral Award of 5 February 2001, International Law Reports 2001, vol. 119, p. 566.

International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, The MOX Plant Case (Ireland v. the United Kingdom), Case No. 10, Order of 3 December 2001, International Legal Materials 2001, vol. 40, p. 36.

Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, Decision regarding delimitation of the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia, Decision of 13 April 2002, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, vol. 25, p. 83.

International Court of Justice, Land and Maritime Boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria (Cameroon v. Nigeria: Equatorial Guinea intervening), Judgment of 10 October 2002, I.C.J. Reports 2002, p. 303.

International Court of Justice, Frontier Dispute (Benin/Niger), Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 2005, p. 90.

Permanent Court of Arbitration, Award of the Arbitral Tribunal in proceedings between Barbados and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Decision of 11 April 2006.

Permanent Court of Arbitration, Award of the Arbitral Tribunal in proceedings between the Government of Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the Army (Abyei Arbitration), Decision of 22 July 2009.
C. Documents
Treaty of Amity Commerce and Navigation, between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America (“Jay’s Treaty”), London, 19 November 1794.

Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighbourliness between the French Republic and the United Kingdom of Libya of 1955, 10 August 1950.

Security Council resolution 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967.

Handbook on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes between States, United Nations, New York, 1992.

Articles of Understanding Concerning OSCE Spillover Monitor Mission to Skopje, Exchanged on 7 November 1992.

Mandate of the OSCE Missions of Long Duration in Kosovo, Sandjak and Vojvodina, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Permanent Council Decision of 14 August 1992.

Mandate of the OSCE Mission to Estonia, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Permanent Council Decision of 13 December 1992.

Mandate of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Permanent Council Decision of 4 February 1993.

Mandate of the OSCE Mission to Tajikistan, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Permanent Council Decision of 1 December 1993.

Security Council Resolution 915 (1994) of 4 May 1994.

Joint Declaration of Republic of the Governments of Chad and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Aouzou, 13 May 1994.

Security Council Resolution 926 (1994) of 13 June 1994.

Mandate of the OSCE Mission to Ukraine, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Permanent Council Decision of 15 June 1994.

Mandate of the OSCE Assistance Group to Chechnya, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Permanent Council Decision of 11 April 1995.

Mandate of the OSCE Mission to Albania, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Permanent Council Decision of 27 March 1997.

Mandate of the OSCE Mission to Kosovo, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Permanent Council Decision of 1 July 1999.

Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the State of Eritrea, Algiers, 18 June 2000.

Agreement between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the State of Eritrea, Algiers, 12 December 2000.

Agreement Transferring Authority over Bakassi Pennisula from Nigeria to Cameroon (“Greentree Agreement”), New York, 12 June 2006.

Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission, Press Statement, The Hague, 30 November 2007.

Organization of American States resolution of 12 November 2010, CP/RES. 978 (1777/10) (Situation in the Border Area between Costa Rica and Nicaragua).
D. Doctrine
J. Collier and VLowe, The Settlement of Disputes in International Law, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999.

J. G. Merrills, International Dispute Settlement, 4th edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005.

M. N. Shaw, International Law, 6th edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008, in particular Chapter 16.

F. Orrego Vicuña, International Dispute Settlement in an Evolving Global Society: Constitutionalization, Accessibility, Privatization, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004.