Artificial Islands and Installations in International Law



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University of Rhode Islands Law of the Sea Institute


The purpose of the present paper is to discuss some of the international legal aspects involved in the construction and operation of offshore facilities, and to offer some suggestions with respect to their future regulation. It is, however, necessary to define more clearly the kinds of structures covered by this study, since the legal regimes of the various kinds of structures need not necessarily be the same. The scope of this paper is limited in two respects. First, it deals only with structures which are permanently above sea level. Secondly, it does not deal with floating structures, although in some respects these could be assimilated to fixed structures. To denote the kinds of facilities covered by this study, two terms will be used. The term "artificial island" will refer to those constructions which have been created by the dumping of natural substances like sand, rocks and gravel. The term "installation" will refer to constructions resting upon the seafloor by means of piles or tubes driven into the bottom, and to concrete structures.


30 pages; available for download at the link below.


offshore structures, artificial islands, island law