Land and Maritime Boundaries

In 1982 the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was opened for signature in Jamaica. This was the culmination of some 14 years work involving participants from 150 + countries representing all regions of the world’s coastal states. These countries convened for the purpose of establishing a comprehensive regime that is embedded in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The treaty is made up of some 320 articles and nine annexes governing all aspects of the convention. Within the convention, sea space is sectioned into inland waters, territorial seas, contiguous zones and exclusive economic zones. For these areas to be recognised by literal countries the marine boundaries are projected from the country’s land boundary lines. The above zones are divided using one or more methods laid down in UNCLOS. Currently, there remain some 300 marine boundary disagreements between countries.

Although the convention consists of a series of compromises, they form an integral whole. This is why the convention does not provide for uncertainties. It is therefore not possible for states to pick and choose what they would like. In international law, as in domestic law, rights and duties go hand-in-hand. It is therefore important that each state understands where their boundaries lie in respect of neighbouring countries and also the boundaries relating to various sea spaces within their jurisdiction i.e. territorial seas.

CTS Marine Consultants Ltd (CTS) has experience and can develop small teams of relevant experts to assist countries with the delimitation of their land and marine boundaries. CTS is aware that no one person has the ability to delimitate a state or internal boundary on their own. CTS has the ability to draw together specialist teams to undertake in-depth research prior to field activities. Also, CTS is able to develop negotiation strategies with the client.