Julia Lisztwan

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This Note examines the relationship between coastal geography changes and maritime entitlements under international law. It argues that, despite considerable recent concern that negotiated settlements will not be able to cope with the effects of global climate change, current law is robust enough to accommodate these changes. Despite the lack of textual provision in UNCLOS, state practice has, arguably, accommodated ambulatory baselines. Moreover, the author maintains that changing coastlines will not lead to instability. They are not likely to be held to invalidate negotiated treaties under the principle of rebus sic stantibus, nor are they likely to create new rights for third parties under pacta tertiis. Since neither judicial decision nor state practice will likely alter existing rights and obligations, the Note concludes that changing baselines will not have the destabilizing effects that some commentators foresee.

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