In recent years, international rules concerning islands have increasingly featured as a part of inter-State relations, whether with respect to Chinese activities in the South China Sea, the decolonization of the Chagos Archipelago in the India Ocean, the effects of tiny features on delimitation in the Black Sea or the Bay of Bengal, or the plight of low-lying Pacific nations in the face of sea-level rise. A single article (Article 121) amongst the 320 articles that comprise the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC) is dedicated to the “regime of islands,” providing some important guidance, but leaving much unsaid. As such, the law in this area is deeply informed by other sources: other provisions of the LOSC; other treaties; State practice (including national laws); decisions and declarations at international organizations; jurisprudence by international courts and arbitral tribunals; and the writings of scholars. Thus, it is to be welcomed that a leading scholar in the field of international law, Donald Rothwell of Australia National University, has taken up the task of surveying these various sources so as to produce a book-length treatment of islands and international law.
GW Paper Series
Murphy, Sean D., Book Review of Donald R. Rothwell, Islands and International Law (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2022), forthcoming in Cambridge Law Journal.