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The Law of the SeaProgress and Prospects$
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David Freestone, Richard Barnes, and David Ong

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199299614

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199299614.001.0001

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Further Development of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea: Mechanisms for Change

Further Development of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea: Mechanisms for Change

(p.40) 3 Further Development of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea: Mechanisms for Change
The Law of the Sea

Alan Boyle

Oxford University Press

The adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) in 1982 brought to a culmination the third, and most ambitious, attempt to codify and progressively develop the law of the sea. Unlike its predecessors, the 1982 LOSC was intended to be, as far as possible, comprehensive in scope and universal in participation. Negotiated by consensus as an interlocking package deal, its provisions form an integral whole, protected from derogation by compulsory third-party settlement of disputes, a prohibition on reservations, and a ban on incompatible inter se agreements. Within these limits, it was intended to be capable of further evolution through amendment, the incorporation by reference of other generally accepted international agreements and standards, and the adoption of additional global and regional agreements and soft law. While recognising that the problems of ocean space are ‘closely interrelated’ and ‘need to be considered as a whole’, the Convention is replete with references to regional rules, regional programmes, regional cooperation, etc.

Keywords:   United Nations Convention, soft law, regional agreements, multilateral treaties, ocean space, inter se agreements, regional cooperation

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