37647 - The Law of the Sea and the associated mid-line

N. Lygeros
Translated from the Greek by Athina Kehagias

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The Law of the Sea as far as the demarcation of the EEZ between two States is concerned, doesn’t refer to the technical manner by which the bilateral relationship will handle the situation. It considers that if the two country States agree upon the demarcation way, then that is enough. Additionally, it doesn’t constitute an action affecting any other demarcation agreements carried out by these States. This of course, is the legal context. But the strategic context explains that, the more agreements which are carried out with a certain methodology, the more this is enhanced at a global level. All of the Cypriot agreements which took place in 2003, 2007 and 2010 with Egypt, Lebanon and Israel were carried out with a mid-line appropriation, and of course this is the methodology which Greece insists upon for her own agreements, just as she did in regards to the Continental Shelf demarcation with Italy back in 1977. The recent decision of Australia and East-Timor to sign an EEZ demarcation, is yet again based upon the concept of the midline, and this also constitutes a major correction of the 1972 Continental Shelf demarcation between Australia and Indonesia. Came the time that this case as well will come to reinforce the notion and usage of the mid-line, and we are particularly glad that this occurred via Australia, since it’s a just decision which no longer encroaches upon East-Timor. In this sense, the mid-line constitutes a strategic solving of problem as well. So it’s wise to bare it in mind for other situations also.