Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The hearing in the Bangladesh-Myanmar maritime delimitation dispute continued for the third day on Monday in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in German city of Hamburg.

Bangladesh’s counsels argued for delimitation of exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf within 200 Nautical Miles (NM) on the day, according to a foreign ministry press statement.

Counsel Prof Philippe Sands presented the rules and principles of international law applicable for the delimitation of EEZ and continental shelf, it added.

He discussed the relevant laws of UN Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS), legislative history of the Convention of 1982 to stress the obligation of the tribunal for achieving equitable solution without giving priority to equidistance method.

Prof Sands referred to two recent cases on Nicaragua vs Honduras decided by ICJ and Guinea/Guinea Bissau Arbitration decided by Court of Arbitration, where alternative method was used for achieving equitable solution.

“The Bangladesh counsel urged the Tribunal to appreciate the geographical position of Bangladesh before applying the relevant laws and practices in this case,” the statement said.

Another counsel Larry Martin in his arguments concentrated on giving various examples and reasoning as to why equidistance does not give equitable result to Bangladesh vis-à-vis India and Myanmar.

Mr. Martin vividly illustrates to the judges the inequity that would result if equidistance is applied in the case between Bangladesh and Myanmar due to extreme concavity faced by Bangladesh.

He justified his arguments with case laws like North Sea Case & Guinea/Guinea Bissau Arbitration as well as with state practices, like, Senegal/Gambia, Dominica/France, France/Monaco, Malaysia/Brunei and so on to show that, concavity has been always given special consideration for discarding equidistance in maritime delimitation.

Mr. Martin argued that Bangladesh, having a long coastline which faces only the sea, deserves something equitable, not a cut-off by neighbouring countries.

After the presentation of Mr. Martin, Mr. Paul Reichler continues the argument. Mr. Reichler specifically mentions about Myanmar’s approach of drawing provisional equidistance line ignoring St. Martins Island, an integral feature of Bangladesh’s coast.

The speech described various rules and judicial precedents like, Dubai/Sharjah Case, Rumania/Ukraine Case and Myanmar/India (Andaman Nicobor) maritime delimitation agreement in favour of giving full effect to St. Martin’s Island.

Mr. Reichler also elaborates Bangladesh’s un-rebutted and uncontested entitlement to outer continental shelf on geological and geomorphological ground which demands an alternative of equidistance method for delimitation of its EEZ and Continentals Shelf within 200 NM.

Monday’s hearings stressed on the exclusion of equidistance due to its distorting effect in the present case and requested the Tribunal to delimit the 200 NM EEZ and Continental Shelf, the statement added.  

The method proposed by Bangladesh, which is angle bi-sector method will be presented to the judges with reasoning by Prof James Crawford in the afternoon when Prof Payan Akhavan of McGill University will give his presentation on the subject of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction and show that there can be no doubt that the Tribunal has jurisdiction over this dispute in its entirety.

BBN/SSR/AD-13Sept11-1:38 am (BST)