Handbook on the Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries

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This handbook is a useful tool for facilitating the negotiating process to which countries with adjacent or opposite coasts can resort to in case of overlapping claims. Its area of coverage includes: maritime zones subject to boundary delimitation; norms and rules applicable to maritime boundary delimitation; factors exerting an influence on maritime boundary delimitation; methods applicable to maritime boundary delimitation; practical aspects of the negotiations; negotiating and drafting the agreement; and settlement of disputes.

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Negotiating and drafting the agreement

Good faith must characterize all phases of the negotiations, which must be conducted in a spirit of fairness and effectiveness. This implies that the parties are not allowed to engage in any conduct or activity which is contrary to their objective, and that any systematic attitude of reluctance, refusal, pressure or competition is bound to result in failure. Ambiguity or inconsistency in word or deed will be interpreted in a way that is unfavourable to the person who exhibits it (see Temple of Preah Vihear case (Cambodia v. Thailand), Judgment of 15 June 1962); failure to respect agreed procedures and time frames or adverse proposals often appears to run counter to the manner in which the negotiator is obligated to act. Negotiators must inform themselves in advance of all factors that may have an impact on the negotiations, on the course of events and on the situation in the other State party to the negotiations.

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