United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982

These commentaries are based almost entirely on the formal and informal documentation of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III, 1973-1982), coupled, where necessary, with the personal knowledge of editors, contributors, or reviewers, many of whom were principal negotiators or UN personnel who participated in the Conference.

Throughout its nearly 5000 pages, the Commentary presents the text of each article and thereafter cites its documentary sources. The line-by-line development for each article is discussed chronologically for each session of the Conference. Over 100 international law scholars or Conference diplomats, reflecting a wide diversity of views, contributed to drafting or reviewing the Commentaries.

The reputation of the Virginia Commentary is now firmly established as the most authoritative reference work in the field of international law about the 1982 Convention. The series is regularly cited in judicial proceedings and in scholarly publications around the world.

The authoritative credibility of the Commentary derives from the unique expertise and the hands-on experience of the principal author-editors of each volume and provides an unrivaled resource for international law practitioners, maritime law specialists, educators, government and military authorities and others interested in the UN Law of the Sea Convention.

Additional supplementary material can be found at UNLCOS 1982 Commentary: Supplementary Documents.

Also available online: United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Online.
"This series is an invaluable source for law of the sea scholars and practitioners alike, who owe a great debt to the Virginia Center for Ocean Law and Policy for having the vision to initiate this work, and to those who have labored to bring these volumes to fruition. They capture the wisdom of a generation—the generation that negotiated the 1982 Convention—some of whom, notably Ambassador Rosenne and Professor Louis Sohn, are no longer with us. It is said that each generation reinterprets its law and inevitably a new generation of commentators is arising who were not part of the UNCLOS III process and who have different views of the Convention and the processes that gave it form. However, this surely makes it more, rather than less, important to have such a comprehensive record of what took place." - David Freestone, The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

"...this series will undoubtedly rank as a classic for a very long time, a jewel in the diadem of historic works on the Law of the Sea." – M.I. Glassner, Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce