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Using International Law to Defuse Current Controversies in the South and East China Seas

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The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS0F 1 serves as a comprehensive legal platform for allocation rights and responsibilities as world populations grow and greater stresses are placed on the world s seas for resources. More than 150 states signed this comprehensive document, which contains 320 articles and nine annexes, and covers virtually every aspect of the conduct of nations in the ocean environment. Even though the United States has not yet ratified the convention, it has declared UNCLOS to reflect customary international law U.S. policymakers reaffirm that the United States government regards the 1982 LOS Convention as gospel when it comes to the question of what is the law of the sea. Yet UNCLOS is under assault from three fundamental stresses The prevalence of flags of convenience registries, which allow cargo vessels to avoid labor and safety regulations by sailing under a flag state that has lax regulatory standards. The lack of enforcement mechanisms to prevent ships from transiting the maritime zones of coastal states for illegal or illicit purposes. Coastal states excessive maritime claims of sovereigntyjurisdiction over selfdelimited maritime zones, and the reluctance of these states and contesting states to submit such claims to arbitration by UNCLOS tribunals. This report will examine all three stresses on the public order of the oceans that UNCLOS was established to maintain. However, it is the third stress the increasing prevalence of states to make and enforce excessive maritime claims that will be examined in depth in this report.

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  • Sociology and Law
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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