On Wednesday 14 March, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea issued its judgment in the Dispute concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Bangladesh and Myanmar. The dispute concerned the delimitation of the territorial seas, exclusive economic zones and continental shelves of these two states in the Bay of Bengal.
The Judgment is important in a number of respects. Firstly, it is the first dispute concerning maritime boundary delimitation decided by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. It therefore gives an indication of the approach of the Tribunal to maritime boundary delimitation compared to other international courts and tribunals. Secondly, it is the first judgment of an international court or tribunal which directly addresses the delimitation of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. The tribunal therefore had to deal with some novel legal issues in its judgment. The judgment will also be an important point of reference in the on-going dispute between Bangladesh and India concerning their maritime boundaries on the other side of the Bay of Bengal.