Islands, Law and Context

Hardback

Islands, Law and Context

The Treatment of Islands in International Law

9781802207620 Edward Elgar Publishing
Sir Malcolm D. Evans, Principal, Regent's Park College, University of Oxford and Reece Lewis, Lecturer in Law, School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University, UK
Publication Date: August 2023 ISBN: 978 1 80220 762 0 Extent: c 240 pp
This ground-breaking book challenges legal orthodoxy, presenting an original approach to the treatment of islands in international law. It offers a new perspective on how to define islands in international law, questioning how they differ from other maritime features. It focuses on the contextual factors that bear upon the legal treatment of islands, recognising that, in practice, islands have varied and unequal impacts and arguing that greater focus on context is needed to understand legal outcomes, particularly those concerning maritime boundary delimitation.

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This ground-breaking book challenges legal orthodoxy, presenting an original approach to the treatment of islands in international law. It offers a new perspective on how to define islands in international law, questioning how they differ from other maritime features. It focuses on the contextual factors that bear upon the legal treatment of islands, recognising that, in practice, islands have varied and unequal impacts and arguing that greater focus on context is needed to understand legal outcomes, particularly those concerning maritime boundary delimitation. Addressing the impact of rising sea levels on the interests and rights of islands and the increasing construction of artificial islands, the authors make the case for a major change in approach to the topic.

This book offers international lawyers a thought-provoking reappraisal of a vital issue. It will be a useful resource for human geography and international relations scholars wishing to deepen their understanding of a key politically-contested and increasingly pressing debate in international law.
Critical Acclaim
‘The entry into force of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea has made the legal regime of islands a topical issue in international law. Climate change and sea-level rise contribute to the current interest in the subject. This book adds an important contribution to the existing literature. It pleads for a contextual approach that avoids the strictures of purely textual interpretation that have been a source of difficulty for current literature and judicial decisions.’
– Tullio Rodolfo Treves, University of Milano, Italy

‘An erudite exploration of the island and international law, which draws on and moves beyond existing scholarship and judicial decisions to provide a modern, contextual and highly original account of islands and a sophisticated, authoritative and compelling assessment of their treatment under the law of the sea.’
– Karen Scott, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

‘In this refreshing and insightful book on islands and the law of the sea, Evans and Lewis convincingly show how and why context matters. Their pithy treatise is instantly accessible and yet exposes hidden influences on how the so-called “legal regime” of islands operates. They provide sharp insights into related questions of sovereignty and delimitation. For good measure, new challenges of climate change and sea-level rise are explored too. I highly recommend this timely and provocative book.’
– Richard Barnes, University of Lincoln, UK
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