Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999

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Statutory Instrument
Territorial extent Scotland
Made 13 April 1999
Commencement 1 July 1999
Other legislation
Made under Scotland Act 1998
Status: Current legislation
Text of the Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from

The Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999 is a statutory instrument of the United Kingdom government, defining "the boundaries between waters which are to be treated as internal waters or territorial sea of the United Kingdom adjacent to Scotland and those which are not." It was introduced in accordance with the Scotland Act 1998, which established the devolved Scottish Parliament.

Defining jurisdictions

The territorial waters thus defined as Scottish waters come under the jurisdiction of Scots law, and are also used for defining the area of operation of Marine Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, and other Scottish Government agencies and public bodies. This is, for example, of importance to the Scottish fishing industry, the North Sea oil industry, and in the competing claims for the resources of the Rockall Trough.

The territorial waters thus defined as not being Scottish waters come under the jurisdiction of either English law or Northern Ireland law. Therefore, because it defines the territorial limits of the three separate jurisdictions, it comprises a piece of constitutional law in the constitution of the United Kingdom.

Previously, the jurisdictional areas for the application of civil law were defined by The Civil Jurisdiction (Offshore Activities) Order 1987.[1]


The law effectively curved the maritime jurisdictional boundary between Scotland and England north. Previously, the boundary was a straight line heading east across the North Sea from Berwick. The movement of the line meant that some oil fields previously in Scottish waters were now under English jurisdiction.[2] Professor Alex Kemp of the University of Aberdeen argued that the movement of the line did not make much difference from an economic perspective, "because [these] are just a handful of fields, and [no longer] very important ones".[2]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Brocklehurst, Steven (16 April 2013). "Who has a right to claim North Sea oil?". BBC News Online. Retrieved 21 September 2016.

External links

  • The Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999
  • Map of the boundary defined in the Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999
  • 26 April 2000 - Official Report of debate regarding the Order in the Scottish Parliament
  • Scottish Executive - press release, 9 Dec 1999
  • Scottish Ministers' proposals for the designation of marine boundaries in coastal and transitional waters
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