The Peace Palace Library was delighted to host, along with the K.G. Jebsen Centre for the Law of the Sea (JCLOS) of the UiT the Arctic University of Norway and Le Club de Droit International, the book launch of Maritime Boundary Delimitation: The Case Law; Is it Consistent and Predictable? This book, which is edited by Alex Oude Elferink, Tore Henriksen and Signe Busch of the JCLOS and published by Cambridge University Press, provides a thorough analysis of the case law on the maritime delimitation of the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone.

H.E. Judge Peter Tomka received the first copy of the book from the hands of Professor Alex Oude Elferink. Judge Tomka praised the authors on their work and reminded that it was fitting that the book was presented in the Peace Palace, for it has been the scene of many hearings on maritime delimitation cases.

Afterwards Alex Oude Elferink and Professor Yoshifumi Tanaka of the University of Copenhagen posed some questions on the consistency and predictability of the case law. Because the balance between consistency and predictability and judgements that take into account all the specific circumstances of the individual case, is a very delicate one.

In delimiting maritime boundaries in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf, the case law shows that there is no simple formula to follow to come to an equitable solution. Because in the first stage of the delimitation: the drawing of a provisional delimitation line from the baseline, followed by an evaluation of the specific circumstances that might require the adjustment of that line, and finally in some circumstances a disproportionality test. That suggests an objective starting point to draw an objective equidistance line from. But what if there are specific circumstances that might or might not justify another starting point? What coastal elements should be taken into account as base points for determining the median line?

These antraite-de-droit-international-de-la-mer-thouvenin-forteaud many more questions were debated in a panel discussion led by Tore Henriksen.

In the same week, on Monday, May 14, 2018, another substantial book on the law of the sea was launched, only 200 meters from the Peace Palace, at the Residence of France. Philippe Lalliot, Ambassador of France to The Netherlands, assisted in the book launch of Traité de Droit international de la Mer (Pedone, Paris, 2017) directed by the Professors Jean-Marc Thouvenin, Secretary-General of the Hague Academy of International Law, and Mathias Forteau.

Past week has been an eventful one on the field of academic research on the law of the sea. Both books are at your disposal at the Peace Palace Library.

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