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Fisheries Case (United Kingdom v. Norway)

1951 I.C.J. 116 (Dec. 18)

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Fisheries Case (United Kingdom v. Norway)

International Court of Justice

1951 I.C.J. 116 (Dec. 18)

Facts

Between 1616 and 1906, British fishermen refrained from fishing in Norwegian coastal waters. In 1906, British fishermen began fishing near the Norwegian coasts, and tensions between British fishermen and the Norwegian government (defendant) escalated after 1906. In 1911, Norway seized a British trawler for violating certain limits imposed by the government of Norway to limit foreign fishing in Norwegian coastal waters. In 1932, British trawlers began fishing off the Norwegian coast west of the North Cape. In 1933, the government of the United Kingdom (plaintiff) sent a memorandum to Norway complaining that the Norwegian government used unjustifiable baselines when setting the boundaries of Norway’s territorial sea in a process known as delimitation. In 1935, the Norwegian Royal Decree set the Norwegian fisheries zone north of a certain latitude. Between 1935 and 1948, there was no agreement between Norway and the United Kingdom on the boundaries of Norwegian coastal waters. However, in 1948, the government of Norway began to strictly enforce the limits set in the 1935 decree and arrested numerous British trawlers for violations of the 1935 decree. The government of the United Kingdom brought a case against the government of Norway in the International Court of Justice.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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