Fisheries (United Kingdom v. Norway)
OVERVIEW OF THE CASE
The Judgment delivered by the Court in this case ended a long controversy between the United Kingdom and Norway which had aroused considerable interest in other maritime States. In 1935 Norway enacted a decree by which it reserved certain fishing grounds situated off its northern coast for the exclusive use of its own fishermen. The question at issue was whether this decree, which laid down a method for drawing the baselines from which the width of the Norwegian territorial waters had to be calculated, was valid international law. This question was rendered particularly delicate by the intricacies of the Norwegian coastal zone, with its many fjords, bays, islands, islets and reefs. The United Kingdom contended, inter alia, that some of the baselines fixed by the decree did not accord with the general direction of the coast and were not drawn in a reasonable manner. In its Judgment of 18 December 1951, the Court found that, contrary to the submissions of the United Kingdom, neither the method nor the actual baselines stipulated by the 1935 Decree were contrary to international law.
This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.