The delimitation of continental shelf boundaries with particular reference to "relevant circumstances" and "special circumstances"

Zahraa, Mahdi (1990) The delimitation of continental shelf boundaries with particular reference to "relevant circumstances" and "special circumstances". PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The delimitation question of the continental shelf has been a controversial issue since the early stages of the continental shelf doctrine. Two sets of rules and principles have so far been relevant to the delimitation question. These are, the Conventional solution of Article 6 of the 1958 Convention on the Continental Shelf (the equidistance/special circumstances formula), and the Customary solution of the 1969 North Sea Cases (the equitable principles/relevant circumstances formula). Three issues appear to have been the main problematic areas of these two solutions, namely, the actual stand of both solutions concerning the equidistance principle, and the meaning and scope of the special circumstances clause and the relevant circumstances clause. The main concern of the present thesis is these three problematic issues. The thesis is divided into two parts, which in turn are divided into six chapters. Because the said issues, by their very nature, are connected with the problem of the legal, geophysical, economic and political bases of the doctrine, Chapter I provides a general background aiming at identifying such bases. The Second Chapter examines the Conventional and Customary solutions using analytical and comparative perspectives. In Part Two a thorough examination of the said two clauses is attempted. Chapter III examines the available State practice and the judicial and arbitral cases aiming at identifying the meaning and scope of the relevant circumstances clause. Chapter IV discusses each individual relevant circumstance in order to determine their features and requirements. In chapter V, the special circumstances clause is examined, wherein its meaning and scope as well as the features and requirements of each individual special circumstance is discussed. Then the last Chapter provides the conclusions of this study. In the course of examining the said problematic issues, it seemed that any attempt to provide relevant clarification would be doomed to failure unless it was based on a sound criterion. Accordingly this thesis endeavoured to search for such a criterion, which was eventually found to be the irredressable disproportionally distorting effect principle. In the light of this principle, the thesis tries to prove that the relevant circumstances and the special circumstances clause, so far, have managed to embrace identical categories of circumstances, and hence they have the same meaning and scope; and the actual stand of both, the Conventional and Customary solutions, concerning the equidistance principle is identical. From this another conclusion followed. That is, the Customary and Conventional solutions are so far identical.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Grant, Prof John P.
Date of Award: 1990
Depositing User: Mrs Laura Sweeney
Unique ID: glathesis:1990-4237
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 May 2013 11:00
Last Modified: 02 May 2013 11:00

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