Abstract and Figures
The discovery of gas and oil reserves in the East Mediterranean Basin (EMB) has put the spotlight on regional tensions between certain coastal States and on their unresolved disputes in relation to the delimitation of their respective maritime areas. The advent of the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has sought to discipline such disputes along the lines of clear legal rules. That said, not all coastal States are parties to it. In the EMB region, three coastal States – namely Israel, Syria, and Turkey – are such parties. Whilst certain customary law provisions may be held to be reflected by UNCLOS provisions, this is not without controversy. Therefore, identifying the applicable customary norms to disputes involving any of these three States becomes a more complex matter further compounded by the fact that, prior to the advent of UNCLOS, State practice had been inconsistent across coastal States. This paper outlines the principal inter-State legal aspects of the delimitation of disputes in the region in relation to the maritime areas that these engage – namely the territorial sea, the continental shelf, and the exclusive economic zone.