What you write below is correct.
The main thing to remember about Australia's claim to continental shelf off
the AAT, which it asked the CLCS not to consider, was to protect Australia's
position in international law in case the Antarctic Treaty system was ever
----- Original Message -----
From: "Martin Pratt" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 4:08 PM
Subject: Re: [INT-BOUNDARIES] Australia's extended continental shelf.
Australia included areas of the continental shelf of the Australian
Antarctic Territory (AAT) in its submission to the Commission on the Limits
of the Continental Shelf; however, recalling the principles and objectives
of both the Antarctic Treaty and UNCLOS, it asked the Commission not to
consider those areas for the time being (see the final two pages of the
executive summary of Australia's submission at http://tinyurl.com/67oazf).
The Australian government map to which you refer
(http://www.ga.gov.au/image_cache/GA11214.pdf) shows Australia's claimed EEZ
off Antarctica (which is of no concern to the CLCS) but not its claimed
continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from its Antarctic baselines;
the area of continental shelf on the map that abuts the AAT EEZ is the
continental shelf of the Heard-McDonald islands rather than the continental
shelf of the AAT.
Parties to the Antarctic Treaty are not permitted to make new claims to
Antarctic territory, or to extend existing claims. My understanding is that
Australia believes that its continental shelf submission does not represent
an extension of an existing claim because, under Article 77 of UNCLOS, the
rights of a coastal state over the continental shelf do not depend on any
express proclamation. In other words, assuming Australia has sovereignty
over land territory in Antarctica, it automatically has sovereign rights
over the resources of the continental shelf off that territory to the outer
edge of the continental margin - and its submission to the CLCS therefore
simply represents a clarification of the extent of the area over which it
has sovereign rights. However, the fact that the Australian government
decided not to ask the Commission to consider its Antarctic continental
shelf submission for the time being suggests a recognition that its views
may not be universally shared.
m a r t i n
Director of Research
International Boundaries Research Unit
Department of Geography
Durham DH1 3LE
Tel: +44 (0)191 334 1964
Fax: +44 (0)191 334 1962
[log in to unmask]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: International boundaries discussion list [mailto:INT-
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mike Beidler
> Sent: 25 April 2008 01:10
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [INT-BOUNDARIES] Australia's extended continental shelf.
> The .pdf file provided by the Commonwealth of Australia that depicts
> continental shelf confirmed by the Commission on the Limits of the
> Continental Shelf
> shows something I find quite interesting: the recognition of Australian
> territorial waters
> along the coast of the Australiian AntarcticTerritory as well as exclusive
> rights to the
> adjacent continental shelf south of 60šS latitude.
> I confess, I'm ignorant as to the relationship between the 1961 Antarctic
> Treaty and the
> UN, so any illumination on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
> Mike Beidler
> The Creation of an Evolutionist Blog