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Hugo Grotius and International Relations$
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Hedley Bull, Benedict Kingsbury, and Adam Roberts

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198277712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198277717.001.0001

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Grotius and the Law of the Sea

Grotius and the Law of the Sea

(p.209) 6 Grotius and the Law of the Sea
Hugo Grotius and International Relations

W. E. Butler

Oxford University Press

In the early seventeenth century, there were numerous conflicting claims to dominion over the seas and oceans. The heart of Grotius's position, espoused in his works Mare Liberum and De Jure Belli ac Pacis, was that states may not individually or collectively acquire high seas areas. This view was disputed at the time by various writers, especially John Selden (1584–1654). However, it eventually came to be the foundation of the modern regime of the high seas. The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea constitutes a continuation of the balancing process between coastal and high seas interests to which Grotius had contributed.

Keywords:   Convention on the Law of the Sea, high seas, law of the sea, John Selden

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