Newfoundland and Nova Scotia Boundary Arbitration

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In May 2000, the federal Minister of Natural Resources established an arbitration tribunal to resolve the dispute relating to the line dividing the respective offshore areas of the Province of Nova Scotia and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The tribunal consisted of:

  • Hon. Gérard V. La Forest, Chairperson
  • Mr. Leonard G. Legault
  • Dr. James R. Crawford





The tribunal was mandated to deal with the dispute in two phases.  The terms of reference included a first phase, in which the tribunal was required to determine whether or not a line had already been established by an agreement between the parties.  If the answer to that question was no, then the terms of reference required a second phase, in which the tribunal would be tasked with establishing a boundary line.  The tribunal was required to treat the provinces as sovereign states and to apply principle of international maritime boundary law.

Phase I included the filing of Memorials and Counter Memorials by both parties, followed by an oral hearing held at the Wu Conference Centre at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, N.B. March 12 – 20, 2001.  The Award of the Tribunal in the First Phase was published in May 2001, and determined that the line dividing the respective offshore areas had NOT been resolved by agreement.

Phase II similarly included the filing of memorials and counter memorials by both parties, followed by an oral hearing held at the Wu Centre November 19 – 28, 2001.  The Award of the Tribunal in the Second Phase, dated March 26, 2002, established a maritime boundary between the two provinces.

This digital archive of the arbitration contains the Memorials and Counter Memorials, Annexes, and Oral Presentations of both parties, including exhibits; Transcripts of the Hearings; and Phase I and Phase II Awards.

Bibliography Of Materials About The Boundary Arbitration, compiled by Melinda Renner, Retired Reference/Public Services Librarian



We are grateful to Hon. Justice Gérard V. La Forest and to the New Brunswick Law Foundation, the University of New Brunswick Work Study Program, and the UNB EText Centre for their material support of this project, and to all of those individuals who have contributed to the creation of this site. In particular, we thank Matthew Hiltz and Patricia Merrigan, former UNB law students, for their expertise and diligence in scanning and indexing hundreds of images and creating the logo.  Retired UNB Head Law Librarian Janet Moss, retired Reference/Public Services Librarian Melinda Renner, and retired Head Law Librarian Anne Crocker were responsible for the concept and management of the project and the design and creation of this website.


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