Guest Lecture - The outer limit of Bangladesh's continental shelf after the delimitation of its boundaries with its neighbours: Is there still any role for the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf?

Professor Andrew Serdy
Professor Andrew Serdy
06 September 2016, 11:00 - 12:30

Speaker: Professor Andrew Serdy

Abstract

Bangladesh, located between India and Myanmar, has had its continental shelf boundaries fully delimited by the combined effect of the 2014 award of the tribunal formed under Annex VII to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in the Bay of Bengal Maritime Boundary Arbitration (People’s Republic of Bangladesh v. Republic of India), http://www.pca-cpa.org/showfile.asp?fil_id=2705, and the earlier judgment delivered by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Delimitation of the maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh/Myanmar), Judgment, ITLOS Reports 2012, p. 4. The two boundaries meet, thus forming a continuous outer limit for the continental shelf of Bangladesh that abuts the continental shelves of its neighbours but not the international seabed area beyond national jurisdiction. Drawing on relevant treaty provisions and State practice, this presentation will canvass whether any legal impediment remains to Bangladesh's exploitation of the resources of the part of its continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from its territorial sea baseline, even though its entitlement to that part of it, the subject of a submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf under Article 76(8) of the Convention, has yet to be verified through recommendations made by that body. In particular, it is possible that this verification now need not occur at all. Time permitting, the discussion will move on to the sharp contrast between, on one hand, the jostling for position by Bangladesh, Myanmar and India under the Commission's Rules of Procedure, and on the other hand the restrained conduct of Sri Lanka, which under these rules has the same opportunity to cause mischief for its neighbours, but has apparently and sensibly decided not to.

Venue: New King's NK1


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