The Continental Shelf of Svalbard: Its Legal Status and the Legal Implications of the Application of the Svalbard Treaty Regarding Exploitation of Non-Living Resources
AuthorThomassen, Ida Cathrine
The legal status of Svalbard and its competence to generate maritime zones has long been disputed. Article 1 of the Svalbard Treaty grants Norway sovereignty over the Archipelago and its territorial waters and Norway holds that the Archipelago constitutes a part of the natural prolongation of the mainland continental shelf and that the continental shelf therefore is subject to Norwegian legislation. This thesis aims at investigating whether Svalbard can generate maritime zones and is indicative towards the conclusion that there is a discrepancy between state policy and state practice of recent years. This may indicate that there is a change in the Norwegian position. The thesis further raises the question on the consequences of Svalbard generating maritime zones and assumes consequently that the Svalbard Treaty and its regulatory framework applies to the continental shelf of Svalbard. The legal implications of the application of the Svalbard Treaty to activities related to the exploitation of non-living resources on the continental shelf is then discussed on the basis of the previous chapters concluding that Norway has the competence to apply Norwegian law to the extent it does not contravene with the non-discriminatory principle of the Svalbard Treaty.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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