The Regulation of Continental Shelf Development

Rethinking International Standards


The lack of international conventional law governing the operational aspects of continental shelf activity may be characterized as unfinished business of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Convention, adopted in 1982, generally addressed the issue but did not consider more detailed development of the legal regime for the continental shelf. In The Regulation of Continental Shelf Development: Rethinking International Standards, leading experts from around the world identify and explore a multitude of unresolved legal concerns related to the continental shelf.

The current state of continental shelf activities is explored through the following lenses:
• Contemporary uses, including an overview on offshore wind energy in the EU, an analysis of the use of submarine cables under UNCLOS, and a discussion of the varied potential for mining marine materials;
• Emerging challenges, such as ISA seabed mining standards, the recent ITLOS decision regarding the Bay of Bengal, and the role of the IMO in establishing safety standards for transboundary effects of oil pollution for offshore platforms;
• Comparative best practices in environmental regulation;
• Probabilistic risk assessment, with a thorough definition of PRA and a critical examination of continental shelf disasters;
• Decommissioning offshore installations and structures, including an overview of the global regime as particularly provided in Articles 60(3) and 80 of UNCLOS;
• Liability and compensation;
and finally,
• Unfinished business on UNCLOS III.

The varied voices of experts collected within The Regulation of Continental Shelf Development: Rethinking International Standards offer a timely understanding of past, present, and future issues related to the continental shelf. The volume is a must-read for all those interested in environmental law and the law of the sea.

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Myron H. Nordquist is the Associate Director and Editor of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy, and Senior Fellow at the Center for National Security Law at the University of Virginia School of Law. He is Editor-in-Chief of the seven-volume Virginia commentary series,plus a Supplementary Documents volume, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982: a Commentary.

John Norton Moore is the Walter L. Brown Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, Director of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy, and Director of the Center for National Security Law. He is the author or editor of thirty-eight books and over 170 scholarly articles and served for two decades on the editorial board of the American Journal of International Law, where he is currently an Honorary Editor.

Aldo Chircop is a specialist in maritime law, marine and environmental law and policy, and integrated coastal and ocean management. His work experience has included directorships of the Marine Affairs Programme and Marine Environmental Law Program at Dalhousie, the International Ocean Institute and the Mediterranean Institute in Malta, and a brief term with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Vienna, Austria.

Ronán Long holds the Jean Monnet Chair of European Law at the School of Law at NUI Galway and lectures EU Law, International Law, Planning and Environmental Law, Law of the Sea and European Fisheries Law. He has also lectured at the Rhodes Academy Oceans Law and Policy and is a supervisor of advanced academic research under the United Nations - The Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellowship Programme.
Overall, The Regulation of Continental Shelf Development: Rethinking International Standards provides considerable food for thought for those wrestling with legal, scientific and policy issues associated with the exploitation of continental shelf resources. The book provides a lively,
erudite, informed and informative commentary on the system of regulation underpinning these issues. As with its (now rather extensive set of)
companion volumes in this popular series, this volume encompasses a range of papers and approaches. Some are relatively brief and conversational, others are extremely thorough and detailed; all are insightful and offer an interesting introduction and treatment of their constituent
topics. As the Deepwater Horizon disaster attests, there remain considerable gaps in the legal regime governing the continental shelf, numerous
legal approaches and philosophies and a considerable number of emerging industries and sectors for which there is a relatively limited degree of external oversight and regulation. These remain issues that will clearly require hardnegotiated solutions in the coming years. This comprehensive, helpful and highly informative collection nonetheless offers a valuable and highly recommended insight into current and future regulatory approaches.

Dr Richard Caddell
Institute of Shipping and Trade Law
Swansea University

The Journal of International Marine Law

Setting the Context

The Continental Shelf Regime under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea: Reflections after Thirty Years
S. Jayakumar

Part 1: Contemporary Uses of the Continental Shelf

Offshore Wind Energy Development and Ecosystem-based Marine Management in the EU: Are the Regulatory Answers Really Blowing in the Wind?
Ronán Long

Submarine Cables on the Continental Shelf
Douglas R. Burnett

Mining for Marine Minerals
Georgy Cherkashov

Part 2: Emerging Challenges to the Development of the Continental Shelf Regime

International Seabed Authority Mining Standards
Michael W. Lodge

The Continental Shelf Beyond 200 NM: A First Look at the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh/Myanmar) Case
Ted L. McDorman

International Standards for Offshore Drilling
J. Ashley Roach

Part 3: Comparative Best Practices in Environmental Regulation of Continental Shelf Activities

Renewable Energy and Marine Spatial Planning: Scientific and Legal Implications
Andreas Kannen, Hartwig Kremer, Kira Gee, & Marcus Lange

The Legal Framework for the Regulation of Safety and Environmental Issues on the Outer Continental Shelf
Joanna Mossop

Offshore Safety Regimes – A Contested Terrain
Preben H. Lindøe & Ole A. Engen

Part 4: Probabilistic Risk Assessment for Continental Shelf Development

Environmental Regulation and Probabilistic Risk Assessment
Martin G. Malsch

Disasters and the Continental Shelf: Exploring New Frontiers of Risk
Bruce Glavovic

Part 5: Decommissioning of Offshore Installations and Structures

Global Legal Regime on the Decommissioning of Offshore Installations and Structures
Robert Beckman

Regional Regulation of Offshore Oil and Gas Industry Decommissioning by the OSPAR Commission
David Johnson

Part 6: Liability and Compensation

The Regime for Liability and Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage from Ships
Alfred H. Popp

Benefits and Risk of the Northern Sea Route to the North Pacific
Sung-Woo Lee

Developing Arctic Hydrocarbon Resources: Delineating and Delimiting Boundaries for Field Development in the Arctic
Timothy J. Tyler, James L. Loftis, Emilie E. Hawker,
Hana V. Vizcarra, & M. Imad Khan

Part 7: REFLECTIONS ON the Unfinished Business of UNCLOS III

Completing the Unfinished Business of UNCLOS III
Brian Flemming

Comments on the Unfinished Business of UNCLOS III
John Norton Moore

Beyond the Outer Limit: 60-Year Reflections
Edgar Gold
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