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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
العربية 中文 Français Русский Español


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)

Related Documents
North Sea Continental Shelf cases, ICJ Reports, 1969, p. 3

Gulf of Maine, ICJ Reports, 1984, p. 246

Nicaragua v Honduras, ICJ Reports, 2007

Qatar v Bahrein, ICJ Reports, 2001, p. 40

Guyana/Suriname, 17 September 2007

Barbados/Trinidad and Tobago, 11 April 2006

Anglo-French Continental Shelf, 54 ILR, p. 6

Tunisia/Libya, ICJ Reports, 1982, p. 18

Libya/Malta, ICJ Reports, 1985, p. 13

St. Pierre and Miquelon (Canada/France), 95 ILR, p. 645

Jan Mayen (Denmark v Norway), ICJ Reports, 1993, p. 38

Guinea/Guinea Bissau, 77 ILR, p. 636

Cameroon v Nigeria, ICJ Reports, 2002, p. 303
Recommended Reading
UN Handbook on the Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries, New York, 2000;

Nuno Antunes, Towards the Conceptualisation of Maritime Delimitation, The Hague, 2003;

Churchill and Lowe, Law of the Sea, chapter 10;

M. D. Evans, Relevant Circumstances and Maritime Delimitation, Oxford, 1989;

P. Weil, The Law of Maritime Delimitation – Reflections, Cambridge, 1989

International Maritime Boundaries (eds. J. I. Charney and L. M. Alexander), Washington, vols. I–III, 1993–8, and ibid. (eds. J. I. Charney and R. W. Smith), vol. IV, 2002 and ibid (eds. D. A. Colson and R. W. Smith), vol V, 2005, The Hague;

Maritime Delimitation (eds. R. Lagoni and D. Vignes), Leiden, 2006;

M.N. Shaw, International Law, 6th ed., 2008, Chapter 11;

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


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)

Leading Cases
Island of Palmas, 2 RIAA, p. 829 (1928);

Burkina Faso/Mali, ICJ Reports, 1986, p. 554;

Eritrea/Ethiopia, 130 ILR, p. 1;

Eastern Greenland (Norway v Denmark), PCIJ, Series A/B, No. 53, 1933, p. 46;

Eritrea/Yemen, 114 ILR, p. 1;

Taba (Egypt/Israel), 80 ILR, p. 224;

Temple of Preah Vihear, ICJ Reports, 1962, p. 6;

Quebec Reference, 115 ILR, p. 536;

El Salvador/Honduras (Nicaragua Intervening), ICJ Reports, 1992, p. 351;

Libya/Chad, ICJ Reports, 1994, p. 6;

Cameroon v Nigeria, ICJ Reports, 2002, p. 303.

Select Bibliography
J. Castellino and S. Allen, Title to Territory in International Law: A Temporal Analysis, Aldershot, 2002;

G. Distefano, L’Ordre International entre Légalité et Effectivité: Le Titre Juridique dans le Contentieux Territorial, Paris, 2002;

R. Y. Jennings, The Acquisition of Territory in International Law, Manchester, 1963;

V. Prescott and G.D. Triggs, International Frontiers and Boundaries, The Hague, 2008;

S. P. Sharma, Territorial Acquisition, Disputes and International Law, The Hague, 1997;

M. N. Shaw, International Law, Cambridge, 6th ed., 2008, chapter 10;

M. N. Shaw, Title to Territory in Africa, Oxford, 1986.


Settling Territorial Disputes
Outline of Lecture (13.5 KB)

Leading Cases
Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, ICJ Reports, 1996, p. 226;

Alabama Claims, J. B. Moore, International Arbitrations, Washington, DC, 1898, vol. I, p. 495;

Behring Sea, J. B. Moore, International Arbitrations, Washington, DC, 1898, vol. I, p. 755;

North-Eastern Boundary, C.C. Hyde, International Law, 2nd ed., 1945, vol. III, p. 1636;

British Guinea v Venezuala Boundary, 92 BFSP, p. 160;

Larsen v Hawaiian Kingdom, 119 ILR, p. 566;

Mox, 41 ILM, 2002, p. 405;

Rann of Kutch, 50 ILR, p. 520;

Beagle Channel, 52 ILR, p. 267;

Niger/Benin, ICJ Reports, 2005, p. 90;

Corfu Channel, ICJ Reports, 1949, p. 4;

Aegean Sea Continental Shelf, ICJ Reports, 1978, p. 3;

Eritrea/Ethiopia, 130 ILR, p. 1;

Eritrea/Yemen, 114 ILR, p. 1;

Taba (Egypt/Israel), 80 ILR, p. 224;

El Salvador/Honduras (Nicaragua Intervening), ICJ Reports, 1992, p. 351;

Libya/Chad, ICJ Reports, 1994, p. 6;

Cameroon v Nigeria, ICJ Reports, 2002, p. 303.
Recommended Reading
M. N. Shaw, International Law, Cambridge, 6th ed., 2008, chapter 18;

J. G. Merrills, International Dispute Settlement, 4th edn, Cambridge, 2005;

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

J. Collier and V. Lowe, The Settlement of Disputes in International Law, Cambridge, 1999;

United Nations, Handbook on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes Between States, New York, 1992;