Law of the Sea
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Montego Bay, 10 December 1982), UNCLOS, is intended to govern the use of oceans for fishing, shipping, exploration, navigating and mining. The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is the most comprehensive treaty in public international law and covers a range of Law of the Sea topics, such as delimitation of maritime boundaries, maritime zones, marine environment protection, marine scientific research, piracy and many more.
Part XI UNCLOS on the legal regime on deep seabed mining used to be a main obstacle for ratification by Western states and blocked the entry into force of the UNCLOS as a whole. After more specific regulations in the 1994 Agreement relating to the implementation of Part XI of UNCLOS about the commercial exploitation of the deep seabed, more countries were willing to ratify and UNCLOS entered into force in 1994. Although the United States now recognizes the UNCLOS as a codification of customary international law, the US has not yet ratified it.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on the Law of the Sea. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's systematic classification → Sea in general and subject headings (keywords) Law of the Sea and UN Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
On 29 June 2017, in Final Award (PCA Case N0. 2012-04) between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that Slovenia should have direct access to international waters in the north Adriatic Sea using a corridor crossing Croatian waters. Croatia and Slovenia are also embroiled in an equally longstanding land border dispute, which involves tiny stretches of territory. Croatia withdrew from the arbitration proceedings in 2015, questioning the impartiality of the court after it transpired that a Slovenian official had been in communication with the Slovenian member of the tribunal. "The Tribunal determines that the junction between the Slovenian territorial sea and the 'High Sea' is an area in which ships and aircraft enjoy essentially the same rights of access to and from Slovenia as they enjoy on the high seas,"
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