Do It Yourself Continental Shelf Delimitation
France, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom have jointly submitted a proposed delimitation of the continental shelf lying beyond the 200 mile limit of their coasts but abutting all four of these countries. This joint submission is made pursuant to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, and essentially is a proposed joint settlement. (In contrast to the many disputes that have to be settled around the world between countries like Japan – China, or Barbados – Trinidad & Tobago).
A question for IR and IL scholars: If the four countries can reach a settlement on boundary disputes on their own, do they really need the UN Law of the Sea system to approve? They certainly seem to think they do, but the interesting question is why?