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Comparative International Law$
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Anthea Roberts, Paul B. Stephan, Pierre-Hugues Verdier, and Mila Versteeg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190697570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190697570.001.0001

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Not so Treacherous Waters of International Maritime Law

Not so Treacherous Waters of International Maritime Law

Islamic Law States and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

(p.571) 26 Not so Treacherous Waters of International Maritime Law
Comparative International Law

Emilia Justyna Powell

Oxford University Press

The United Nations 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is a widely accepted international agreement that regulates maritime law. Among countries that have ratified the treaty are many Islamic law states—states that are traditionally skeptical toward international multilateral treaties. What makes the Convention attractive to the Islamic world? This study focuses on substantive international and Islamic law of the sea, as well as rules governing peaceful resolution of disputes in both legal systems. The chapter shows that unlike other international treaties, substantive provisions of UNCLOS express principles historically present in Islamic law. Additionally, peaceful resolution procedures of the Convention incorporate Islamic law states’ preference for flexibility in conflict management. Empirical analyses of UNCLOS signature, ratification status, as well as UNCLOS declarations, and restrictions (1982–2006) support the theoretical expectations set forth in the chapter. This study provides a compelling analysis to address these puzzles.

Keywords:   UNCLOS, Islamic law, treaties, ratification, reservations, international law, international dispute resolution

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