The Development and Legal Status of the Three-Stage Approach:Its Implications for the Sino-Japan Delimitation of the Continental Shelf in the East China Sea
【中文摘要】1969年的北海大陆架案为国际海洋划界的具体方法抛下了一个疑问，1985年利比亚/马耳他案使用的临时等距离线并根据特殊情况进行调整或移动的划界方法，因其在多数情况下的客观、方便、公平，在最近20多年的国际司法判例中日益受到推崇。2009年的黑海案中国际法院首次将其提升到三步划界方法论的地位上，使之逐渐成为一种标准方法，提升了划界法律的确定性。虽然通过国家实践与法律确信的分析，三步法在理论上并未达到习惯法的要求，但其不断得到巩固的事实在中日东海划界问题上无疑对中国愈加不利。中国应坚持一贯立场，贯彻公平原则，以协议方式争取最大的利益。 【Abstract】The North Sea Continental Shelf cases, dated in 1969, left questions about the specific methods to be used in international maritime delimitations. The method used in the case between Libya and Malta (1985), namely the construction of a provisional equidistance line followed by adjustment or shifting based on special circumstances, has been widely accepted and adopted in the international judicial decisions in the last two decades, because of its objectiveness, convenience and equity most of the time. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) upgraded the method to the three-stage approach in the Black Sea case in 2009 for the first time, thus having developed a standard method and enhanced the certainty of the jurisprudence in maritime delimitation. Although the analysis of State practices and opinio juris embodied no customary nature of the method in theory, the fact that the method has gained continuous confirmations undoubtedly disfavors China in the Sino-Japan delimitation of the continental shelf in the East China Sea. China should stay firm in its position and fight for maximum benefits by agreement, based on the equitable principles.