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Sea-level rise and ambulating maritime zones : an analysis of the legal implications for coastal and island states.

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As a result of climate change and the rising of sea levels worldwide, maritime baselines along Coastal and Island States are starting to shift. There are many legal consequences that arise as a result of this shift in maritime baselines. Maritime baselines play an important role in delineating maritime territory for the purposes of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). When a baseline shifts due to sea level rise, so too does the maritime territory that is measured from it. Therefore, this dissertation aims to undertake an in-depth analysis of the consequences of this shift and methods to curb these consequences. In order to provide an in-depth analysis on this issue, the dissertation includes an examination of the current legal regimes that govern maritime baselines. This includes an analysis of: The relevant provisions of UNCLOS; international and municipal judicial decisions; reports by the International Law Association Committee on Baselines under the Law of the Sea; as well as academic scholarly views. The dissertation then aims to provide and critique possible solutions to the legal complications outlined. The solutions provided focus on the fixing of baselines this provides certainty to maritime nations worldwide.


Master of Laws in Maritime Law. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2017.