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(United Kingdom v. Norway) 1951 I.C.J. Rep. 116.

This case, begun by an application referring to the Declarations of Acceptance of the Optional Clause in art. 36(2) of the I.C.J. Statute by the United Kingdom and Norway, asked the Court (a) to declare the principles of international law to be applied in defining the baselines, by reference to which the Norwegian Government is entitled to delimit a fisheries zone, extending to seaward 4 miles from those lines and exclusively reserved for its own nationals, and to define the said base-lines in so far as it appears necessary, in the light of the arguments of the Parties, in order to avoid further legal difficulties between them; (b) to award damages to the United Kingdom in respect of interferences with British fishing vessels outside the zone which the Norwegian Government [may be] entitled to reserve for its nationals. The legitimacy of a 4-mile limit was not in dispute between the parties, but the United Kingdom objected to the measurement of this from baselines otherwise than across the mouths of bays of a length exceeding 10 miles and drawn between points which were sometimes low-tide elevations (drying rocks). On 18 December 1951, in holding (10 to 2) that the method of delimitation employed in the Norwegian Royal Decree of 12 July 1935 was not contrary to international law (so that, incidentally, no question of damages arose), the Court (1) found that the coastal zone involved in the dispute was of a very distinctive configuration being very broken or indented, for the greater part of its length protected by an island fringe or skjaergaard, and so high as to be generally visible from a long distance, the inhabitants deriv[ing] their livelihood essentially from fishing; (2) similarly found that for the purpose of measuring the breadth of the territorial sea, it is the low-watermark as opposed to the high-watermark which has been generally adopted in the practice of States; (3) held that geographical realities required that the relevant low watermark in the region under discussion was that of the skjaergaard rather than that of the mainland; (4) held also that, of the three methods canvassed for the application of the low-watermark rule, that of the trac parallele, following the sinuosities of the coast, was inapplicable to so indented a coast, and that the arcs-of-circles method was not obligatory in law; (5) and that the rule confining the use of straight baselines to cases where they do not exceed 10 miles in length although adopted by certain States both in their national law and in their treaties and conventions, and [in] certain arbitral decisions has not acquired the authority of a general rule of international law; and (6) finally found that the baselines actually selected by Norway had not violated international law, such having not departed appreciably from the general direction of the coast, having legitimately taken into account peculiar local economic interests, and having conformed to a traditional pattern of delimitation conferring something in the nature of an historic title generally tolerated by other States. The principles of the judgment, and to a great extent its language, were adopted in the Geneva Convention on the Territorial Sea etc. of 29 April 1958 (516 U.N.T.S. 205), arts. 35, and were reproduced in the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (1833 U.N.T.S. 3), arts. 57. http://www.answers.com/topic/anglo-norwegian-fisheries-case Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/anglo-norwegian-fisheriescase#ixzz1rjwtS0Oa

Fisheries Case (United Kingdom v. Norway)

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The Fisheries Case (United Kingdom v. Norway) was the culmination of a dispute, originating in 1933, over how large an area of water surrounding Norway was Norwegian waters (that Norway thus had exclusive fishing rights to) and how much was 'high seas' (that the UK could thus fish). On 24 September 1949, the UK requested that the International Court of Justice determine how far Norway's territorial claim extended to sea, and to award the UK damages in compensation for Norwegian interference with UK fishing vessels in the disputed waters, claiming that Norway's claim to such an extent of waters was against international law. On 18 December 1951, the ICJ decided that Norway's claims to the waters were not inconsistent with international laws concerning the ownership of local sea-space.