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Baselines in the Mediterranean Sea : with special reference to the issue of the correction of the Croatian straight baselines

Marina Vokić Žužul ; Jadranski zavod HAZU, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Valerija Filipović ; Hrvatski hidrografski institut, Split, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 1.638 Kb

str. 1-73

preuzimanja: 1.430



This paper analyses the implementation of the rules of international law of the sea relating to the outer limits of the internal waters in the practice of Mediterranean coastal states. In addition to national legislation by which normal or straight baselines are defined in front of their coastlines, special consideration is given to issues relating to the enclosure of historic bays, especially those of significant width, claimed by Italy (Gulf of Taranto) and Libya (Gulf of Sidra). Although the conventions on the law of the sea have explicitly recognized the existence of historical bays, they have failed to regulate the conditions for the establishment of legal title on historical basis, thus leaving them in the domain of customary international law. The largest deviations occur in the drawing of straight baselines, from which the breadth of territorial waters is measured. Rules contained in Article 7 of the 1982 Convention (i.e. Article 4 of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone) were observed only by several of the nineteen Mediterranean states applying the method. As especially questionable, emphasis should be given on straight baselines drawn by Albania, Italy, Egypt and Spain, whose coastlines in the greatest part cannot be considered deeply indented and cut into, or fringed by islands. As an example of straight baselines that fulfill all conditions laid down by international law in the sense of their application, we need to stress the straight baselines from which the breadth of the territorial waters of the Republic of Croatia is measured. However, since they have been drawn restrictively, some remote Croatian islands remained outside their reach, so that the areas between them and the mainland remain outside the legal regime of internal waters. Therefore the Croatian state territory at sea nowadays does not encompass all areas allowed by international law. The question of a partial correction of straight baselines for measuring the breadth of the Croatian territorial sea has also been considered from the technical point of view.

Ključne riječi

maritime boundaries, normal baselines, straight baselines, internal waters, territorial sea, historic bays,

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