TITLE

WHO WILL OWN THE OCEANS?

AUTHOR(S)
Swing, John Temple
PUB. DATE
April 1976
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Apr1976, Vol. 54 Issue 3, p527
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article discusses issues surrounding national ownership and jurisdictional zones on seabed and ocean floor. For most of recorded history there have been only two uses of the oceans that mattered, fishing and navigation. Only with the advent of worldwide exploration in the 16th century and the flurry of colonial claims that followed did attention begin to be paid to the need for resolution of two conflicting philosophies of ocean use, national ownership and freedom of movement. As customary law developed over the next three centuries, freedom of the seas came to mean that, except within an area extending three miles from the shoreline, the rest of the oceans were high seas, free, as a matter of law, to all except pirates. In 1945, however, it was the growing realization of the likely future importance of offshore oil to the U.S. which led to the first significant assertion of a national right in an area that had previously been considered international. One of the few initially encouraging trends that developed in the Law of the Sea negotiations was the surprising degree of progress made at the outset toward agreed procedures for third party adjudication of disputes arising under the treaty. At one time or another representatives from 60-odd countries participated in an informal working group. The work of this group finally resulted in an Informal Single Negotiating Text containing 18 articles with several annexes establishing procedures for arbitration and conciliation, calling for special Law of the Sea Tribunal to decide upon matters in dispute, and further providing that the parties to the dispute shall be bound by the decisions of the Tribunal.
ACCESSION #
4854161

 

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