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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The archipelagic regime in Part IV of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) was aimed at resolving an issue that had long challenged the international community, namely, whether a group of islands should be considered a single entity and thus subject to a special regime distinct from the rules applicable to continental land masses and individual islands. This chapter examines the critical issues associated with the implementation of Part IV as well as future issues that may arise. It first discusses the development of the archipelagic regime. It then addresses the definition of an archipelago and an archipelagic State, archipelagic baselines, and archipelagic waters, respectively, and examines issues in implementation. It considers the issue of ‘dependent archipelagos’ and whether there is a lacuna in LOSC in this regard. The chapter concludes with a discussion on future areas of focus for the archipelagic regime.

Keywords: United Nations (UN), UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea), since World War II, straits, territorial sea, maritime boundaries, baselines

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