The Law Applicable on the Continental Shelf and in the Exclusive Economic Zone

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Public International Law, Comparative Law, Oceans, United Nations, Law Of The Sea


As an initial observation, I note that this topic presents a challenge for comparative law scholars. As one scholar suggested in correspondence about the questionnaire for this Session, the topic is, arguably, simply a question of implementation of public international law rather than domestic (and comparative) law as such. This view points to a problem of disciplinary boundaries and the potential overlap between comparative law and international law and the emerging regional law scholarship. I mention this at the beginning of my General Report because that tension is apparent in both the National Reports and the questionnaire prepared for this Session. Are we simply looking at the question of jurisdictional claims and national implementation of the law of the sea, as codified in the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (LOSC) or the predecessor 1958 Conventions and/or customary international law for countries that have not ratified the 1982 Convention? If this is the case, particularly in the context of codification and the inevitable tendency to uniformity under the LOSC, is this Session concerned only with descriptive reports of spatial claims and the extent of implementation of these public international law obligations and rights as “the law” applicable to these areas?


Also available as Moira McConnell, "The Law Applicable on the Continental Shelf and in the Exclusive Economic Zone" in Karen Brown & David Snyder, eds, General Reports of the XVIIIth Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law/Rapports Généraux du XVIIIème Congrès de l’Académie Internationale de Droit Comparé (New York: Springer, Dordrecht, 2012) 453.