The Development of the Law of the Sea by the International Court of Justice

The Development of the Law of the Sea by the International Court of Justice

Abstract

This paper surveys and evaluates the contribution of the International Court of Justice to the development of the (public international) law of the sea. It does so by comparing the Court’s contribution as against other ‘competing’ agents of development of international law, ie other adjudicators, codifiers, regulators, and lawmakers. It concludes that the impact of the Court on the law of the sea has not been great, and is now diminishing. However, it argues that the more important contribution of the Court lies less in its influence on the development of the law, and more in its authority in consolidating it.

Keywords:International Court of Justice, law of the sea, development of international law, baselines, maritime delimitation, straits, innocent passage, transit passage, fisheries, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

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