- 1. UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION LAW OF THE SEA ANDREW PERKINS HISTORY 3ES3 DR. M. EGAN
2. What exactly is the Law of the Sea? The law of the sea convention/treaty is an international agreement, that resulted from a third United Nations conference on the laws in regards to the seas of the world. The treaty began in the year 1973, and ran all the way up to 1982. A total of 160 states participated, and eleven sessions were held between 1973 and 1982. The nal convention contained a total of 320 articles and 9 annexes. Initially, only 119 states were involved, but by the time the convention had closed 2 years later, the number had risen to 160. The convention denes the rights & responsibilities of nations in regards to the oceans, establishing business guidelines, protecting the environment, and managing marine natural resources. 3. This map basically shows the ratied, and signed but not ratied states in dark green and light green, respectively, along with the states that were not involved in grey. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Law_of_the_Sea_Convention.png 4. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/fa/UNCLOS_logo.png 5. What was the purpose of this convention? In other words, what were the goals and hopes that the involved countries wanted to achieve? From 1973 to 1982, the United Nations was responsible for putting together the convention of the Law of the Sea, an agreement that laid out the guidelines and restrictions among nations in regards to the oceans of the world. 6. What were the main highlights/features of the Convention? The issue of territorial jurisdiction, in regards to the waters of the convention participants. The Rights and Duties of each state involved in regards to the sea. Matters of global concern, ecological and environmental. 7. Convention Features - States and Territorial Jurisdiction The rst main feature/objective of the 1973 convention on the law of the sea would be state and territorial jurisdiction. Before any laws in regards to the seas can be discussed, the nations involved in the convention would be required to know which areas of the worlds oceans were under their control. Some of the early issues mentioned in the convention focus on national jurisdiction, and what areas of the sea fall under a specic states control. The convention would have needed to organize a system in which the participants involved would know which areas of the ocean fell under their control and at which point they no longer have jurisdiction. 8. States and Territorial Jurisdiction - Contd The convention allowed for establishing a territorial sea for each participant, a territory of up to twelve nautical miles. The convention also allowed for an economic zone of the sea, beyond a nations territorial waters, an economic zone of two hundred nautical miles, over sixteen times larger than a nations territorial waters. The convention states that today, any territory beyond a nations territorial waters is to be considered a part of the high seas. 9. This diagram gives a visual in regards to the different zones off the coast of nations. Zones mentioned before such as territorial waters, economic zone and international waters are present http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Zonmar-en.svg 10. Importance of Territorial Jurisdiction Why is territorial jurisdiction so important as being a part of the law of the sea? Why have territorial jurisdiction? With many current disagreements over shing, industry, piracy, naval passage, marine resources, etc. in todays society, it is critical that the world have some kind of system to be able to maintain order within the earths waters. Having nations knowing which waters are under their control, where they can and cannot go, and which nations control other areas of the sea are critical in maintaing working, healthy and peaceful waters. 11. Convention Features - Rights and Duties All of the participants of the Law of the Sea convention had certain rights & duties that they needed to understand in order to be apart of the Convention. It is not actually legally permissible to claim rights under the convention without being willing to assume the duties of the convention as well. Some of these duties included: Respecting the rights of other participants in order to avoid any violations. A more specic one would be, the duty to give notice of water hazards, even in ones own waters. A participant needs to be aware of any actions that may violate other participants rights and/or damage their territorial waters. 12. Importance of Rights & Duties Respecting the rights & duties of the convention is one of the most important parts of the convention. Even with the rights in place, if none of the participants were willing to follow them, none of the progress and order trying to be achieved would be obtained. Similar to signing any kind of contract, a participant needs to know what is involved, and what they can and cannot do. Basically, without knowing the proper rights & duties, and following them, maintaining order and peace within the seas would be near impossible, and the convention would matter for nothing. 13. Convention Features - Global Matters of Concern Thus so far, the main convention features mentioned include territorial waters & jurisdiction, and the rights & duties of the participating countries. Other global matters of concern mentioned in the Law of the Sea include issues on pollution, shing restrictions, marine industry, such as oil drilling, passage through territorial waters, and the protection of marine inhabitants & resources. With territorial boundaries & jurisdictions, and knowing rights & duties being more general areas, other global matters of concern focus on the more specic, smaller issues. While smaller, these issues make up the big picture that is the convention on the Law of the Sea. 14. Importance of Global Matters The minor global matters are what truly make up the convention on the Law of the Sea. Territorial waters and rights & duties are in place, but it is the seriousness of other matters that affect the rst two features and help them function. The global matters truly are the main issues involved with the marine environment today, that the convention is trying to smooth out and x. In a way, the global matters make the convention whole, making it clear what the modern day issues are in the planets oceans today, and what needs to be improved. One of the most important parts of global matters is it speaks for the common man. Where territorial jurisdiction, and rights & duties have more of a nation focus, global matters such as shing, pollution, and industry focus more on individual peoples troubles rather than a nations trouble. 15. Overall review on the Convention on the Law of the Sea Overall, does it appear that the convention was a success? Was it able to achieve an understandable constitution for the oceans that would last throughout time? The convention was able to promote the maintenance of international peace & security with universally agreed limits on nations territorial waters. The planets interest in freedom of navigation would be facilitated due to the economic zone, and by the regime of innocent passage through territorial waters. The convention resulted in specic rules for marine environment protection from pollution, and marine scientic research. Finally, while not perfect, the convention produced elements of equity, including revenue sharing on the continental shelf, sherman and distant water sherman relations, and the benet sharing from the exploration of sea bed resources. 16. Concluding Thoughts The 1973 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was a treaty put together from 1973 to 1982, with hopes to maintain order and peace within the worlds oceans leading into the near future. Due to the convention, the nations involved would be aware of which areas of the oceans were considered their territory, and they were aware of the the rights & duties they were obliged to follow, in order for peace to be maintained. Without the convention of the law of the sea, marine pollution, shing conicts, and disagreements over territorial boundaries would likely be at an all time high. Overall, it appears that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was a very successful treaty, that was able to maintain a working and peaceful ocean environment, was able to create decent relations between most of the involved countries, and will hopefully continue to guide a fairly peaceful marine environment into the future.