Shifting Limits? Sea Level Rise and Options to Secure Maritime Jurisdictional Claims

Among the many threats posed by sea-level rise is the potential impact of this phenomen on the extent of the maritime jurisdictional claims of coastal States. This paper provides a brief discussion of sea-level rise, before examining ways in which the maritime claims of coastal States may be impacted by rising sea levels. In particular, the traditional dependence on normal low-water baselines as the usual starting point for measuring maritime claims is problematic given the likely retreat of normal baselines inland as sealevels rise. This paper discusses options to address these challenges and outlines issues arising from the potential total inundation of a given State’s territory.

I. Introduction
II. Rising Waters
III. Baselines and the Limits of Claims to Maritime Jurisdiction
1. Ambulatory Baselines and Shifting Maritime Limits
2. Impacts on Insular Status
3. Implications
IV. Options to Counter the Threat of Sea Level Rise to Maritime Claims
1. (Un)Natural Equilibrium
2. Building Castles in the Sand?
3. Legal Fixes
a. Fixing Normal Baselines
b. Fixed Limits?
V. Wiped Off the Map?
VI. Concluding Thoughts

Copyright: © Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH
Source: Issue 4/2009 (Dezember 2009)
Pages: 12
Price: € 41,65
Autor: Dr. Clive Schofield

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