The merits of this choice is that equidistance, referred as the "natural line" by Antunes, is an objective tool which reflects the basis of the entitlement to the continental shelf . It is furthermore a method that convenes more than any other the advantages of convenience and certainty in its application and could therefore be used widely as long as not resulting in an
Conjunction of all rules under a unique scheme is a big achievement. No precise rule within LOSC in order to achieve best interests for states and absence of agreement on means
- Consistently applied by international judicial bodies and works for EEZ, territorial sea, continental shelf and SMB = reasonable predictability of international bodies delimitations.
- got around the difficulty of the sui generis character of each maritime boundary differences in legal basis and variability of circumstances. = best scheme available
- "add science and calculations" to the process =>
- Can be relied on by states when settling negotiation if they are willing to do so in good faith. Admittedly there could still be debate outside judicial bodies on what is an equitable result.
- Enough because it settled for one method rather than alternative methods which would have necessarily lead to controversy between states because one method always more favourable than the other.
Not taking into account minor differences to avoid conflict arising on them.
Is there enough guidance regarding maritime boundaries in international law?
1.1. A convenient three step process with a starting and ending point that conciliate stability and flexibility build by international judicial bodies
Following the wide ratification and entry into force of the Law of the Sea Convention (thereafter LOSC) in November 1994 , international judicial bodies have harmonized the diversity of rules in international law to provide a globally applicable scheme that can fit all kind of maritime boundaries delimitations.
It must be recognised that the LOSC provisions concerning the delimitations of maritime boundaries, and in particular the EEZ and the continental shelf ones, were particularly vague, due to a lack of consensus on the method to follow. Therefore, it provides respectively under articles 34 and 74(1) LOSC that the delimitation of those boundaries should be made according to "international law" and "in order to reach an equitable solution". The goal was thus settled, but in a terminology void of legal content, as pointed out by states representatives and international judges themselves , who argued that this formulation was bound to carry a discretionary character. This risk of leaving too much room for discretion was even more important that no methodology on how to proceed to achieve the vague aim of an "equitable result" was proposed within the LOSC. In other words, it was not possible on the basis of those provisions, to predict even slightly the result of the delimitation since no objective...