Considerations of equity in the settlement of territorial and boundary disputes


Considerations of equity in the settlement of territorial and boundary disputes

by Masahiro Miyoshi

(International law in Japanese perspective, v. 2)

M. Nijhoff, c1993

  • : hbk

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Bibliography: p. 221-235

Includes indexes



An increasing reference to equity can be seen in recent international treaties, despite the general and sustainable, criticism of its application to the legal relations between states on the grounds of its subjectivity. Be that as it may, States tend to insert equitable provisions in treaties, either in the preamble or in the operative clauses, particularly those dealing with dispute settlement. This is a direct reflection of the States' awareness of the need for a practical response to changes or new developments in international relations which cause or may cause gaps in the existing rules of international law. There are many unresolved territorial and boundary disputes in the world today and Japan has its share of them. Logically, all such disputes require settlement, but experience shows that they tend to remain unsettled unless some urgent impulse is given, such as the need to explore or exploit hydrocarbon resources in the disputed area. Recent international arbitral and judicial decisions in this area seem to be based on an equitable solution based on the consideration of the relevant circumstances. The fact that this study is included in the "International Law in Japanese Perspective" series does not mean that it offers practical solutions for the many Japanese territorial disputes, rather, it is an analytical study of equitable considerations in past cases of territorial and boundary dispute settlement. A careful reader, however, should detect what may be called a Japanese perspective in the manner in which the arbitrations are analyzed, and in the discussion of the theoretical aspects in Chapters III and IV. "International Law in Japanese Perspective" is a series which provides an insight into the latest developments in Japan's attitude towards international law and practice. The series contains works on Japan's contribution to and position in international law, as well as works by Japanese scholars on general questions of international law.


Foreword. Preface. Table of Abbreviations. Table of Cases. Table of Treaties. Introduction. I: Preliminary Considerations of the Concept of Equity. 1. Diverse Meanings of Equity. 2. Attempts at Clarification of the Meeting of Equity. 3. Expressions having an Equivalent Effect to Equity. II: Arbitration Clauses. 1. Multilateral Arbitration Treaties. 2. Restricted Multilateral Treaties. 3. Bilateral Treaties. 4. Special Agreements (Compromis). 5. Conclusions. III: Arbitrations of Territorial and Boundary Disputes. 1. Equitable Considerations in Procedural Matters. 2. Equitable Considerations in Substantive Matters. 3. A Summary Review of the Cases Analyzed. IV: Theoretical Review of Applications of Equity. 1. The Growing Reference to 'Equitable Principles'. 2. The Important Function of 'Relevant Circumstances' in the Settlement of Disputes. 3. The Predominant Importance of an 'Equitable Solution' of the Dispute and Elements of Compromise therein. 4. The Criticism of Equity. 5. The Need for Careful Weighing of 'Relevant Circumstances'. 6. The Relevance of Historical and Cultural Circumstances. 7. The Role of Equity to fill the Gap in the Law. Conclusions. Bibliography. Subject Index. Name Index.

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