Rethinking Society Over a Cup of Coffee

Baselines 101

The Baselines Bill is currently causing a stir.But what exactly are baselines?

Baselines define our territorial sea. The Territorial sea, as distinct from inland and internal waters consists of a marginal belt of maritime waters adjacent to the baselines extending twelve outward.

The 1982 convention on the Law of the sea defines baselines as the low-water line along the coast as marked on large scale charts officially recognized by the coastal state. The width of the territorial sea is measured from the baselines.

Archipelagic states like the Philippines, draw straight baselines instead of the normal baselines. The normal baselines follows the sinousities of the coast while straight baselines are straight lines drawn connecting the selected points on the coast without appreciable departure from the general shape of the coast.

These specific points are enumerated in the baselines bill.