Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Ina Raileanu


On December 12, 1984, an ad hoc chamber of the International Court of Justice delivered its opinion in the Case Concerning the Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary in the Gulf of Maine Area. The decision had been anxiously awaited as the first attempt in the history of the Court to effect a line of delimitation for both the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone. This Note discusses the equity of the Court's decision with emphasis on the role played by the principle of proportionality. In particular, this Note criticizes the interpretation and application of the principle by the United States, the Court, and by Judge Schwebel's concurring opinion, in terms of its consistency with previous decisions concerning maritime boundary delimitations. This Note concludes by suggesting a proportionality formula the Court could have used in the Gulf of Maine Case to reach a more equitable result that can guide the Court in future delimitations of deep coastal concavities similar to the Gulf of Maine.