Egypt – Saudi Arabia Border Demarcation Agreement: Will it be re-negotiated?


November 8, 2016. Today, Egypt’s First Circuit Administrative Court has determined the border demarcation agreement the Country recently signed with Saudi Arabia invalid. This ruling is the first of its kind in post-Arab Spring Middle East and North Africa region, as the judiciary did not previously enjoy the capacity to act against the decisions of a given presidency. Will the treaty be renegotiated?

To learn more, please read our April, 2016 brief  by LCILP’s sub-centre for International land and Maritime Boundaries.


EVENT DATE ANNOUNCED: International Law and the Territorial Gains and Losses of Non-State Actors

London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP) is pleased to announce the date of the launching event of its project on international law and the territorial gains and losses of non-state actors in Africa and the Middle East. During this event, the  territorial and security dimensions of non-state actors will be examined from an international law perspective by LCILP and a host of distinguished speakers. For more information and/or to RSVP, please click here

In partnership with:



NEW BRIEF: International Law of the Sea and Hydrocarbon Discoveries in the East Mediterranean


With the discovery of significant hydrocarbon deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean at the turn of the 21st century, the geostrategic importance of the region has been transformed. In 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has reported that an estimate of 1.7 billion barrels (bb) of recoverable oil and 122 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas are found in the Levant Basin, while another 1.8bb of recoverable oil and 223tcf of natural gas are available under the Nile Delta Basin. Despite the poor media coverage of those developments due to the breakout of the Arab Spring throughout the Middle East and North Africa, they have led to what could be termed The Energy Rush of the Eastern Mediterranean as Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Cyprus and Turkey have all begun issuing exploration and exploitation licences to the likes of Noble Energy and British Gas. More importantly, those developments have made the relevant regional players realize that in order to reap the benefits of the “immense underwater wealth,” their maritime boundaries must be demarcated. The large majority of them have done so in accordance with the applicable rules of the international law of the sea, while others have not.

To read more, please visit the webpage of LCILP’s Centre for International Land and Maritime Boundaries

ANNOUNCEMENT: International Law and the Territorial Gains and Losses of Non-State, Organised Armed Groups in Africa and the Middle East

An evolution is currently taking place in the international legal system to address the territorial dimensions of non-state, organised armed groups through more adaptive legal mechanisms.

While the international legal system is built on the principle of the “territorial integrity” of States, contemporary armed conflicts are increasingly characterised by the dissociation of States through civil strife and territorial gains and losses by non-state, organised armed groups. Existing legal mechanisms address this situation in an inconsistent manner underlined by the 2010 Advisory Opinion of the ICJ on the legality of Kosovo’s exercise of self-determination, when the Court stated that the “[s]cope of the principle of territorial integrity is confined to the sphere of relations between states.” In addition, remedies provided by international humanitarian law (IHL) are limited in their relevance to conflict classification (international v. non-international) and the subsequent definition of the rights and obligations of belligerents in situations of armed conflict either under the provisions of IHL, or based on the congruence between IHL and international human rights law. Further, while noticeable progress has been made at the international level in addressing the export of weapons to non-state armed groups, as seen by the passage of the Arms Treaty in 2013, the continued participation of foreign fighters in ongoing civil strife remains to be properly addressed. Even more, the ongoing international refugee crisis has evidenced the need for an international commitment to extending the protections of international refugee law to those fleeing civil strife and territories claimed by radical organised armed groups.

Generic Soldiers Celebrating

In short, under existing international legal norms, territories claimed by non-state, organised armed groups have become areas where existing international and domestic legal instruments cease to apply, and in some circles became referred to as training grounds for various ethnic and religious groups or as launch pads of potentially catastrophic international and regional spill-over consequences.

LCILP will advance this evolution in international legal norms through an examination of the legal dimensions of initially twelve cases of territorial gains and losses by organised armed groups since the end of the Cold War (1989-present) in selected parts of the Middle East and Africa, as well as their associated historical, geopolitical and spill-over aspects. Following the model of the International Law Commission, the ICRC and various other international organisations that have codified different aspects of international law; LCILP commits itself to an examination with a view of informing the future codification of such currently-evolving international legal norms. The overarching aim is to strengthen the foundations of the debate, nourish the legal discourse and facilitate the efforts of the international community to address relevant issues through more adaptive legal mechanisms. To this end, LCILP will initially organise a number of high profile events and establish a subscription-based database that will feature publications by LCILP and its experts and project-affiliated academics and international law practitioners. In particular, the situation in the following African and Middle Eastern countries will be examined: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Lebanon, Palestine, Nigeria, Somalia, Mali, Western Sahara, and South Sudan.

We cordially invite the relevant academic institutions, legal experts and organisations to express their interest in participating in this project by contacting the London Centre of International Law Practice at

For project specifications, please visit the webpage of LCILP’s Centre for International Land and Maritime Boundaries