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The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf

The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf is one of the institutions established under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Commission performs key functions in the coastal State-process of delineating the outer limits of the continental shelf extending beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured. The process of establishing continental shelf limits with such extent is a relevant issue to more than 50 coastal States worlwide, including Norway and the other Arctic coastal States.

This PhD project focuses on the Commission as a legal institution and aspects of legitimacy related to its decision-making.

Project team:
Davor Vidas (Project Leader)
Øystein Jensen (PhD student)

Project period: 2009-2013


Jensen, Øystein, The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf - Law and Legitimacy. Doctoral dissertation, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo, 2013, 331 p.

Jensen, Øystein, 'Limits of the Continental Shelf in the Arctic'. European Society of International Law - Reflections, Vol 2, No 4, 2013, 4 p.

Jensen, Øystein, 'Law of the Sea: Protection and Preservation of the Marine Environment'. In Steinar Andresen, Elin Lerum Boasson and Geir Hønneland (eds), International Environmental Agreements: An Introduction. London/New York, Routledge, 2012, pp. 69-83.

Jensen, Øystein, 'Kampen om Nordpolen' ('Continental Shelf Claims and the North Pole'), Aftenposten, 31.05.2011. In Norwegian.

Jensen, Øystein, 'The Barents Sea: Treaty between Norway and the Russian Federation concerning Maritime Delimitation and Cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean'. International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, Vol 26, No 1, 2011, pp. 151-168.

Jensen, Øystein, Norway's Outer Continental Shelf Limits in the Arctic. Security Brief 4-2010. Oslo, The Norwegian Atlantic Committe, 4 p.

Jensen, Øystein and Svein Vigeland Rottem, International Law and Security Policy Perspectives in Norway's Northern Sea Areas. Security Brief 3-2010. Oslo, The Norwegian Atlantic Committe, 4 p.

Jensen, Øystein, 'Grensesprengende - og uklart' ('Pathbreaking - and Unclear'), Dagens Næringsliv, 30.04.2010. In Norwegian.

Jensen, Leif Christian, Øystein Jensen and Svein Vigeland Rottem, 'Sitting on Top of the World: The Arctic Seen through Norwegian Lenses'. In Viviane du Castel (ed), Le Grand Nord: Un nouvel enjeu trés courtisé. L'exemple de la mer de Barents, Norvége. Paris, L'Harmattan, 2010, pp. 19-30.

Jensen, Øystein, 'Towards Setting the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf in the Arctic: On the Norwegian Submission and Recommendations of the Commission'. In Davor Vidas (ed), Law, Technology and Science for Oceans in Globalisation – IUU Fishing, Oil Pollution, Bioprospecting, Outer Continental Shelf. Leiden/Boston, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2010, pp. 519-538.

Jensen, Øystein and Svein Vigeland Rottem. 'The Politics of Security and International Law in Norway's Arctic Waters'. Polar Record, Vol 46, 2010, pp. 75-83.

Jensen, Øystein, 'Kontinentalsokkelkrav i Polhavet: alminnelig havrett eller folkerett sui generis?' ('Continental Shelf Claims in the Arctic Ocean: International Law Sui Generis?'). Lov og Rett, Vol 48, No 7, 2009, pp. 406-424. In Norwegian.

Jensen, Øystein, 'Norge er ikke blitt større' ('Norway Has Not Become Larger'), Aftenposten, 23 April 2009. In Norwegian.

Jensen, Øystein, 'Kontinentalsokkelens avgrensning utenfor 200 nautiske mil: Norske og russiske perspektiver i de nordlige havområder' ('Continental Shelf Delimitation Beyond 200 Nautical Miles: Norwegian and Russian Perspectives in the High North'). Internasjonal Politikk, Vol 66, No 4, 2008, pp. 563-589. In Norwegian.
 Related focal points of research:

   Law of the Sea and marine affairs
   Arctic and Russian politics

Project funding:

   Fridtjof Nansen Institute

 Recent relevant FNI News:

Øystein Jensen obtains PhD on Law of the Sea (10.06.2013)

- Delelinjeavtalen viktig for Norge og Arktis ('- Barents Sea Delimitation Agreement Important for Norway and the Arctic') In Norwegian (30.04.2010)

No "Armed Mad Dash for Resources" Foreseen in the Arctic (17.12.2009)

Recent media coverage:

'Researchers have great power in continental shelf battle', ScienceNordic, 23.08.2013.

'Forskere har mye makt i sokkelkamp' ('Researchers Have Much Power in Continental Shelf Struggle'),, 04.08.2013. In Norwegian.

- Maktkamp i Arktis kan ryste grunnen under sokkelregimet ('Arctic Power Struggle May Shake the Foundations of the Continental Shelf Regime'), University of Oslo News, 03.07.2013. In Norwegian.

'Har vært en verkebyll for Norge' ('Barents Sea Delimitation Issue Has Been a Aching Wound for Norway'), ABC Nyheter, 27.04.2010. In Norwegian.

'- Kvalmt av Stoltenberg' ('Environmentalists: - Nauseating by Stoltenberg'), ABC Nyheter, 27.04.2010. In Norwegian.

'Nå blir det ny oljekamp' ('There Will Be a Fresh Fight over Petroleum'), ABC Nyheter, 27.04.2010. In Norwegian.

'Derfor skåler de i champagne for delelinjen' ('Why Northern Norway Brings out the Champagne over Delimitation Agreement'), VG, 27.04.2010. In Norwegian.

'Research Report Foresees No 'Armed Mad Dash for Resources' in the Arctic', ScienceDaily, 04.01.2010.

'No Armed Conflict Over the Arctic', Softpedia, 04.01.2010.

'Ikke verdt å gå til krig om ressurser i Arktis' ('Not Worth It to Go to War over Arctic Resources'), VG, 02.01.2010. In Norwegian.

'Military dispute over Arctic resources unlikely', IceNews, 29 December 2009.

'V Arktike ne ozhidaetsya voyn za resursy' ('No armed fight for resources foreseen in the Arctic'), Ryba Kamchatskogo kraya, 18 December 2009. In Russian.

'Razgranicenja: Barentsovo more, duze od cetrdeset godina traje spor Osla i Moskve oko granica epikontinentalnog pojasa' ('Maritime Delimitation Dispute Between Norway and Russia in the Barents Sea and Continental Shelf Boundaries'), Novi list, 25 February 2009. In Croatian.

'Law of the Sea Convention, the EU and the Arctic' (web radio), NRK Dagsnytt 18, 15 October 2008. In Norwegian.

'EU: – Dumskap å ikke bore i Arktis' ('EU: - Stupity not to Drill in the Arctic'), Adressavisen, 26 September 2008. In Norwegian.

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