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Bangladesh considered that the use of a 180° angle bisector would be the most appropriate method of delimitation.However, following the decision of ITLOS in rejecting Bangladesh’s argument on the impossibility of identifying suitable base points due to coastal instability, Bangladesh changed its position and constructed a provisional equidistance line as an alternative argument.
Bangladesh maintained that due to its position within the concavity of the Bay of Bengal, a delimitation based on equidistance would be inequitable, as it would cause a cut-off effect.
The Tribunal accordingly constructed a provisional equidistance line and then considered the relevant circumstances asserted by the parties.
First, Bangladesh claimed that as the coastline of the Bengal Delta is highly unstable this constituted a “special circumstance” warranting the adjustment of the provisional equidistance line.
The arbitral tribunal’s award marks only the second time that a tribunal has delimited a continental shelf boundary beyond 200 M.
It contributes significantly to the existing jurisprudence on the jurisdiction of international courts and tribunals to delimit a lateral outer continental shelf boundary pending consideration of submissions on the outer limits of the shelf by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).