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Beyond Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea

Legal Frameworks for the Joint Development of Hydrocarbon Resources

  • NUS Centre for International Law series

Edited by Robert Beckman, Ian Townsend-Gault, Clive Schofield, Tara Davenport and Leonardo Bernard

This highly informative and up-to-date book brings together expert scholars in law of the sea to explore the legal and geopolitical aspects of the South China Sea disputes and provide an in-depth examination on the prospects of joint development in the South China Sea.
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Chapter 10: The Australia–Papua New Guinea Torres Strait Treaty: a model for co-operative management of the South China Sea?

Ben Milligan


On 18 December 1978 Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) concluded a treaty concerning maritime delimitation and co-operative arrangements in the Torres Strait (Torres Strait Treaty). The Torres Strait Treaty also addressed competing positions asserted by Australia and PNG concerning sovereignty over the Strait’s insular features. This chapter provides a brief overview of the Torres Strait Treaty and its implementation by Australia and PNG. It then discusses the extent to which design features of the Treaty could be utilised as a model for co-operative management of the South China Sea.

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