NUS Centre for International Law series
Edited by S. Jayakumar, Tommy Koh and Robert Beckman
Chapter 2: Defining the ‘boundary’ between land and sea: territorial sea baselines in the South China Sea
Baselines along the coast define the land/sea interface. Ascertaining the location of this ‘boundary’ between land and sea has crucial implications with respect to maritime jurisdiction. This is the case because while the longstanding legal maxim that ‘the land dominates the sea’ prevails, it has also been observed that ‘it dominates it by the intermediary of the coastal front’, that is, through baselines along the coast. What are traditionally termed ‘territorial sea baselines’ provide specific expression to the concept of coastal front. Such baselines, despite their name, are relevant to the definition of all maritime zones. This is because they provide the ‘starting line’ for the measurement of the limits of maritime claims (see Figure 2.1). In this context it is worth emphasising that the determination of baselines is necessarily a technical as well as legal endeavour.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.