International Law and Disappearing States: Utilising Maritime Entitlements to Overcome the Statehood Dilemma

13 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2010

See all articles by Rosemary G. Rayfuse

Rosemary G. Rayfuse

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 7, 2010

Abstract

This paper examines the rules of international law relating to the establishment of maritime zones and their application in the case of sea level rise with particular reference to ‘disappearing states’. Substantive and procedural options for overcoming the presumption of the ambulatory nature of baselines are examined and the analysis applied to situations of inundation of island states by sea level encroachment. It is argued that it would be both inequitable and inconsistent with the objectives of the law of the sea for disappearing states to lose their maritime zones. A solution to the ‘disappearing state’ dilemma is suggested through adoption of a positive rule freezing baselines and through recognition of the category of ‘deterritorialised state’. It is concluded that the articulation of new rules of international law may be needed to provide stability, certainty and a future to disappearing states.

Keywords: International law, maritime, disappearing states

Suggested Citation

Rayfuse, Rosemary G., International Law and Disappearing States: Utilising Maritime Entitlements to Overcome the Statehood Dilemma (November 7, 2010). UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2010-52, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1704835

Rosemary G. Rayfuse (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

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