Global Insider: Brazil’s Offshore Sovereignty Claim

Recently, Brazil unilaterally expanded the offshore area in which drilling for crude oil and prospecting for other natural resources will require government approval. In an e-mail interview, Tulio Scovazzi, a professor of International Law at the University of Milano-Bicocca, explains the legality of Brazil's offshore sovereignty claim.

WPR: What is the basis for this claim, and what are the main factors driving it?

Tulio Scovazzi: With this claim, Brazil reserves its right to examine requests for the authorization of scientific research activities carried out on the Brazilian continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the coast. The question is whether the claim complies with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to which Brazil is a party.

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