John A. Duff

Document Type



In 1984, a Chamber of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), at the behest of the United States and Canada, delineated a maritime boundary between the two nations partitioning the Gulf of Maine. In doing so, the Court did what Solomon would have counseled against, slicing a living system in two. Twenty-five years after the decision, with a wealth of new information about the status, trends, and challenges of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem, a simple question arises: does the Hague Line facilitate or frustrate ecosystemic regime building? This paper examines how, if at all, the ICJ’s boundary line has played a role in efforts to engage in ecosystem management in the Gulf of Maine. In doing so, it sets the stage for more detailed presentations on bilateral efforts to manage and maintain ecological components and services that the ecosystem provides.

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