Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


W. P. Gormley

First Page



When faced with disputes concerning maritime boundaries, one must analyze an array of materials, including: unilateral state practices, bilateral boundary agreements, multilateral regional conventions, the major international conventions--particularly the Law of the Sea Conventions of 1958 and the 1982 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention -- and customary international law. Beyond question, this huge corpus of material appears overwhelming to most practitioners and scholars when they attempt to resolve maritime disputes. Faced with such a daunting task, scholars, practitioners, and judges may want to consult International Maritime Boundaries, a brilliantly executed research project that analyzes 134 maritime boundaries. The purpose of this major undertaking by a select group of scholars associated with the American Society of International Law is to analyze and to evaluate existing maritime boundary agreements in order to detect any common rules of state practice that might become applicable to the future resolution of boundary questions, either through diplomatic negotiations or through third-party settlement. This research project was "designed to study each of the known boundaries in a systematic way in order to compare the approaches used to resolve these disputes."