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24 Jul 2017

Maritime Delimitations and Hydrocarbon Resources in Central America and the Caribbean

Jill Barrett spoke at a conference on Maritime Delimitations and Hydrocarbon Resources in Central America and the Caribbean, held on 21 July at Ironmongers’ Hall, London. Her topic was “The Obligations of States in Respect of Undelimited Maritime Areas and State Practice in Central America and the Caribbean Region”.

In view of the large number of undelimited maritime boundaries in the region, problems arise due to States’ competing interests in hydrocarbon resources in areas of overlapping continental shelf claims. She discussed the obligation of restraint that applies to States under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and general international law, in these undelimited areas. She highlighted examples of unilateral restraint in the region which contribute to evidence of a similar customary international law obligation, and other cases which illustrate the difficulties in applying these obligations where a territorial sovereignty dispute is intertwined with a dispute on maritime delimitation, suggesting some possible solutions.

The conference, convened by the London Centre for International Law Practice, brought together representatives from diplomatic missions in London, representatives of international organisations, energy specialists, international legal practitioners, hydrographers and other experts in international land and maritime boundary delimitations.

Jill led a research project on the Obligations of States under Articles 74(3) and 83(3) of UNCLOS in respect of Undelimited Maritime Areas. The research report was published in 2016 and copies of the BIICL Report were distributed at the event but is also available here

She is also co-editor and contributing author of Barrett and Barnes, Law of the Sea, UNCLOS as a Living Treaty, BIICL, 2016, further details here.