Continental shelf represents geographically natural extension of the national territory that continues under the sea and legally the seabed, which starts beyond territorial waters and continues to a certain distance and depth, and the territory underground. This territory enables states’ investigation and operation of natural resources in the seabed and underground, and gives states exclusive rights to a certain extent and rules. But determining and limiting the outer and sideward limit of the continental shelf causes conflicts between neighbouring states with adjacent or bilateral coasts, in terms of using their sovereign rights. Disputes arising about the continental shelf are resolved either through diplomacy between the parties in accordance with international treaties or through legal solutions by judicial and arbitration decisions. This study, in which continental shelf has been identified in geographical and legal terms, the rules of international law of the sea concerning the delimitation of continental shelf has been analysed, explains main continental shelf cases, which have been determined in the International Court of Justice and court of arbitration until now. In this context, international judicial institutions in the continental shelf have been examined referring to encountered disputes, according to the general rules of law and international law of the sea.
UNCLOS, ICJ, Arbitration, Equitable Principles