Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 March 2004
The Award of the Arbitral Tribunal in the Second Phase (Maritime Delimitation) of the Eritrea-Yemen Arbitration follows the trend towards producing a single all-purpose delimitation line constructed on the basis of equidistance, the course of which is chiefly dictated by mainland coastal geography. Islands are accorded little impact upon the course of the final line, save to the extent necessary to permit them a full territorial sea. The potential relevance of other factors, including fishing and navigational interests is acknowledged but, given the methodology adopted, they did not influence the construction of the line. As in other cases, proportionality is demonstrated by comparison of areas with the relevant coastal lengths, although the usefulness of this is dubious. Although entirely separate exercises, it may be that the methodology pursued owes something to the outcomes of the first phase of the Arbitration, concerning sovereignty over the islands, and this may have a bearing upon the impact of the Award for maritime boundary delimitation more generally.