Nordic Journal of International Law, Vol 84, No 4, 2015, pp. 580-604.
This article examines the legal significance of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in third-party dispute settlement regarding delimitation of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the territorial sea baselines. Recent international jurisprudence indicates that the relationship between the procedures of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea involving the Commission and third-party dispute settlement is marked by lack of clarity, bringing procedural and substantive legal challenges in the view of the international judiciary. The procedures involving the Commission may influence a dispute settlement body’s decision to exercise its jurisdiction to delimit continental shelf areas beyond 200 nautical miles. Also in terms of continental shelf entitlement—determining what is legally a “continental shelf” and what is not—the Commission plays a crucial role.