Throughout history, states have employed different measures to protect the security of their land territories and the interests of their people. Extending coastal state control and jurisdiction over off-shore zones has been one of these measures[1] this projection, however, obviously has an impact on the right of other states to enjoy the freedom of the seas for all[2]. International law in general recognizes the rights of coastal states to claim a territorial sea, contiguous zone, continental shelf and EEZ[3] Figure 1 below illustrates these four zones. Moreover, international law lays down specific rules that govern the rights and duties of coastal states in these areas, and the rules which determine the outer limit and the boundaries of these zones[4]. In this paper we will discuss the regime of territorial sea in terms of its outer limit, and the rules of territorial sea boundary delimitation. Our treatment of the subject falls into three broad categories. Firstly, we explain the relevant rules and recount the actual practice of various states in the period prior to 1958. Secondly, we study the approach taken in the 1958 Geneva Conventions and the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention. Finally, we consider the situation in the UAE. For ease and clarity of exposition this paper has been divided into two sections: (1) the rules of extending state sovereignty over the territorial sea area; (2) the rules of delimitation for the territorial sea boundary.

[1] Fitzmaurice, The Law and Procedure of the International Court of Justice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1995), at p.204. See also the decision of the PCIJ in North Atla ntic Coast Fisheries Case (1910), 11 United Nations Reports of International Arbitral Awards, at p.205.

[2] Fitzmaurice, op. cit., n.1, at p.204.

[3] Internal waters is one of the maritime areas which are recognized by international law. However, since this area is on the landward side of the baseline, it is extremely unlikely that there would be any question of a delimitation of its boundary with other states. Judge Oda, in his dissenting opinion in the Gulf of Fonseca Case, held to the conclusion that "the internal waters of one state cannot about the internal waters of another state." See ICJ Reports 1992, at p.746, para. 24.

[4] For a definition of the terms maritime boundary, see Jagota, S.P., "Maritime Boundary," 171 Academia De Droit International (1981-11), at p.90.