States and entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly interested in the economic potential of ocean areas beyond the national jurisdiction of coastal States, namely the high seas and the Area. This has led to growing support within the international community to enhance the international legal regime for those areas, among other things to protect and preserve the environment and biodiversity. However, the current debate in international fora indicates that States have widely different interpretations on key aspects of this regime. For instance, what implications do the principles contained in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea have for the governance and regulation of these areas, how is access to natural resources best regulated, how are benefits derived from these areas to be distributed and which specific institutional frameworks should be employed in the management of areas beyond national jurisdiction?
This work intends to contribute to a better understanding of the international law aspects of the ongoing debate on current and future international governance and regulation of areas beyond national jurisdiction. To this end four specific topics are examined: principles and objectives of the legal regime; institutional arrangements for the legal regime; entitlements to marine living resources; and compliance with international regulations.
Erik J. Molenaar is senior research associate at NILOS, Utrecht University and Adjunct Professor Law of the Sea at the University of Tromsø. He has published extensively on the international law of the sea.
Alex G. Oude Elferink is a senior lecturer at the Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea of the School of Law of Utrecht University. He has published extensively on the international law of the sea.
Practitioners and scholars in public international law, in particular the law of the sea and international relations