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In: Energy from the Sea


As the development of an implementation agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction gathers pace, it is important to consider how this might impact upon international fisheries law. Although the proposed agreement provides an opportunity to addresses governance gaps both generally and with respect to fisheries, we should not expect too much of it; not least because the inclusion per se of fisheries remains debated by States. Also, positive institutional developments are already occurring beyond this United Nations process. The proposed implementation agreement should not undermine existing laws, but it is unlikely to leave them untouched. The application of integrated governance principles, and the use of area-based management tools and environmental impact assessment will necessarily influence fisheries regulation in ABNJ. Accordingly, care should be taken to ensure that any innovative governance tools are adapted to existing institutional capacities and circumstances.

In: Conserving Biodiversity in Areas beyond National Jurisdiction
In: The International Legal Regime of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction


This Chapter advocates how the proposed agreement for areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ agreement) could advance and improve international fisheries management. Although the question of inclusion of fisheries in the agreement is a political one, inclusion is desirable from a conservation perspective. Arguably, existing legal rules and institutions also support inclusion. Given the importance of addressing the impact of fishing on biodiversity in ABNJ, I argue that we should focus less on why, and more on how the proposed agreement can address fisheries. As a review of the negotiation process shows, there are some indications of how fisheries can be included, at least indirectly. However, there are also some potential impediments to be overcome. Political objections aside, the main impediment is that the proposed agreement “should not undermine existing relevant legal instruments and frameworks and relevant global, regional and sectoral bodies”. This is a significant impediment because in fisheries management existing regimes have developed well-established, if not comprehensive, mandates. I propose three ways of addressing concerns that mandates could be undermined: conflicts and compatibility clauses, the careful use of general principles, and developing mechanisms for enhanced cooperation. Each contributes to a more integrated governance regime without threatening existing mandates and institutions.

In: New Knowledge and Changing Circumstances in the Law of the Sea
In: The 1982 Law of the Sea Convention at 30
In: International Law and Marine Areas beyond National Jurisdiction
In: Extraterritorial Immigration Control
Frontiers in International Environmental Law explores how law and legal scholarship has responded to some of the most important oceans and climate governance challenges of our time. Using the concept of the frontier, each contributor provides a unique perspective on the way that we can understand and can shape the development of law and legal institutions to better protect our marine environment and climate system, and reduce conflicts in areas of legal uncertainty. The authors show how different actors influence legal development, and how legal transitions occur in marine spaces and how change influences existing legal regimes. They also consider how change creates risks for the protection of vulnerable environment, but also opportunities for creative thinking and better ways of governing our environment.
In: Stability and Change in the Law of the Sea: The Role of the LOS Convention
In: Stability and Change in the Law of the Sea: The Role of the LOS Convention