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Abstract

Together with its mineral resources, ‘the Area’ – comprising the seabed and subsoil beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction – is designated as the ‘common heritage of mankind’. One of the predominant motivations behind the principle of the common heritage of mankind was to ensure fair sharing of the benefits derived from the Area by preventing a first-come first-serve race to the bottom of the ocean, which would mainly entitle developed nations – possessing the necessary expertise, technology and financial means to engage in deep sea mining – to the mineral resources of the deep seabed and would exclude most developing States from these economic opportunities. This important objective ought to be effected through a number of measures, but most of these measures have not yet been implemented by the International Seabed Authority or seem to be undermined by current developments.

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

Abstract

This article examines how the existing legal landscape on marine pollution may accommodate a new treaty on plastics pollution, potential legal bottlenecks, and what this tells us about the ‘plasticity’ of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) vis-à-vis new rules. It explores how such a new treaty may set the threshold for regulatory action by States in their implementation of the source-specific pollution provisions of the LOSC and the added complexity this may cause. It also considers that whilst the implementation of key LOSC marine environmental pollution obligations is subject to a degree of differentiation, a matching duty to assist certain States in fulfilling their responsibilities is currently lacking. Whilst the LOSC remains relevant today in the fight against marine plastics pollution, the plastics treaty under discussion can supplement and enhance the existing regime.

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
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Abstract

Over the course of more than twenty years of operation, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) has made 40 recommendations to submitting coastal States regarding the outer limits of the continental shelf. Only 12 of these recommendations have been used to establish final and binding limits so far. The past practice of the CLCS demonstrates that not all coastal State submissions are simply accepted and that, in fact, various disagreements arise throughout the process. Based on a review of all recommendations issued by the CLCS, this article presents an overview of the various issues subject to disagreement between the CLCS and the submitting coastal State, discusses potential options and solutions for resolving these disagreements, and analyses those disagreements and the practice of the CLCS in light of the resilience of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Open Access
In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
Author:

Abstract

Waters claimed on the basis of historic grounds represent an anomaly in the face of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) provisions on the measurement of marine spaces. In fact, they deviate from the codified prescriptions pertaining to both rules and exceptions governing the drawing of baselines. This contribution outlines the intricate theoretical evolution of this anomaly, the considerations developed during its challenging codification, and the reasoning of international courts and tribunals that have contributed to clarifying regimes and legal terms associated with claims based on historic reasons. Furthermore, it assesses the impact of the anomaly through a brief overview of national practices and the (failed) attempts to quantify them. The anomaly reveals certain paradoxes, but also asserts its necessary presence within the system, to the extent that the LOSC provisions related to historic claims can be counted among the elements on which the LOSC has grounded its resilience.

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

Abstract

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea contains only general rules concerning the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf. However, international courts and tribunals have, within their compass, elaborated the law of maritime delimitation through their jurisprudence, thereby maintaining the resilience of the Convention in a particular context of maritime delimitations. The jurisprudence is not a panacea, however. As regards the implications of maritime delimitation judgments for third States in the same region, for example, the jurisprudence has not been consistent. Lack of consistency of the jurisprudence may undermine the predictability of the law of maritime delimitation and weaken the resilience of the Convention. This article critically assesses the approach of the International Court of Justice to the presence of third States in the process of maritime delimitation, by analysing the Nicaragua v. Colombia case and the Costa Rica v. Nicaragua case, respectively.

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
Author:

Abstract

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) is a pillar serving the objectives set forth in the United Nations Charter. The comprehensive compulsory dispute settlement mechanism under Section 2 of Part XV has established jurisdiction concerning disputes about the interpretation or application of the LOSC. Yet, there are situations in which disputes that relate to the LOSC arise in a broader context, one area of which relates to disputed territorial titles. This article examines the applicable conditions allowing courts and tribunals competent under Article 288(1) of the LOSC to extend jurisdiction to disputes that need not limited to the LOSC but relate also to territorial disputes. While the case law suggests a general reluctancy to exercise jurisdiction in any such situations, there may be prima facie unexplored legal sanctuaries within the LOSC, allowing courts and tribunals to disregard certain jurisdictional objections that arise from the existence of territorial claims of either of the disputing parties.

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

Abstract

This Special Issue, based on an international conference commemorating 40 years of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC), Copenhagen, March 2023, examines emerging issues of resilience of the Convention. More than 40 years have passed since the adoption of the LOSC. Currently, the LOSC faces many challenges that were unforeseen at the time of its adoption in 1982. An essential question thus arises as to whether and how it is possible to address these unforeseen issues under the LOSC. Here, resilience of the LOSC must be envisaged. The six articles in this Special Issue provide an insight into the resilience of the LOSC, examining some cutting-edge matters the LOSC faces today.

Free access
In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law