The article, adopting an innovative approach to the law of the sea, discusses the place and role reserved to persons in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) and the legal regime of which it is a part. The LOSC and other law of the sea agreements are examined, focussing on provisions that mention persons, their rights and their duties. Shortcomings identified include: the difficulty to configure persons as the beneficiaries of rights and the recipient of duties and the ensuing uncertain subjectivity of persons under the law of the sea; the presence of numerous gaps and inconsistencies in the existing legal regulation; the unavailability of mechanisms to address violations of duties by states. The conclusions draw attention to the potential of the LOSC and other treaties to further develop the international legal regime applicable to persons at sea and to provide an adequate place for persons in the law of the sea.
Part XI Implementation Agreement (1994) 33ILM 1309; Fish Stocks Agreement (1995) 34 ILM 1542.
UNGA Res. 66/231 24 December2011para. 167; http://www.un.org/documents/resga.htm.
As of 25 June2012185hostages are held by Somali pirates; International Maritime Bureau at http://www.icc-ccs.org/piracy-reporting-centre/piracynewsafigures. Economic damage can be huge; the Court of First Instance in Bordeaux recognised that the owners of a campsite had sustained damage amounting to €882268 due to the Prestige incident (IOPC ‘Incidents Involving the IOPC Funds 2011’ http://www.iopcfund.org/npdf/incidents2011_e.pdf p. 19).