What are the distinguishable components of the Jan Mayen (Norway and Iceland) Conciliation in the Delimitation of the Continental shelf?

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


A look at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) case docket shows an unusually large number of maritime boundary disputes adjudicated upon by the court. Furthermore, the number of pending cases supports the supposition that the law in relation to delimitation is yet to be clarified into legal rules. This study in critically examining the law of maritime delimitation vis-à-vis the political dimension will argue that given the nature of a maritime boundary dispute, conciliation leading to the establishment of a joint development zone as was seen in the Jan Mayen conciliation process can be an alternative to adjudication by the courts. Stressing the indeterminacy of international law rules of delimitation, where most maritime boundary issues contain elements of law as well as politics, the issue becomes whether a focus on geography and an ill defined as well as ill applied rule of delimitation to the exclusion of other factors is an effective approach. If a dispute resolution operates to establish an agreement that is somewhat acceptable by both parties, and where the dispute is underpinned by non-legal concerns, categorising these factors as extraneous is apt to contradict the very aim as well as concept of maritime boundary delimitation-a solution agreed upon by parties. What are the legal principles used to mark out these boundaries? What are the main features of these principles and how germane are these principles?
Date of Award7 Jul 2008
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorProf. Harm Schepel (Promotor)


  • Law of the Sea
  • Maritime Delimitation
  • Conciliation
  • International Law

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