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Deep Sea Mining Partnerships with Developing States: Favourable Collaborations or Opportunistic Endeavours?

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
Authors:
Klaas Willaert Maritime Institute, Faculty of Law and Criminology, Ghent University Ghent Belgium

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8234-8577
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Pradeep A Singh Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam Germany
Research Centre for European Environmental Law, Faculty of Law, University of Bremen Bremen Germany

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2944-8541
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Abstract

In order to engage in deep sea mining activities on the international seabed (otherwise known as ‘the Area’), non-State actors must be sponsored by a State, which bears the responsibility to ensure that the sponsored entity complies with the applicable rules. Not only the State of nationality, but also the State which exercises ‘effective control’ might be required to serve as a sponsoring State, depending on the circumstances. However, it is not completely clear how ‘effective control’ should be interpreted. Forum shopping seems a realistic possibility, and the recent trend of partnerships between private deep sea mining companies and developing States can produce similar effects. These collaborations might be beneficial to both parties, but given the privileges awarded to developing States, it should be scrutinised as to whether such partnerships undermine the principle of the common heritage of mankind and the objective to realise benefits for mankind as a whole.

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