The U.S. continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. Legal questions arising from non-accession to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

Master thesis English OPEN
Longtain, Shay (2015)
  • Publisher: UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • Subject: continental shelf | U.S. | LOSC | UNCLOS | United States | VDP::Social science: 200::Law: 340 | CLCS | law of the sea | outer limits | JUR-3910 | article 76 | VDP::Samfunnsvitenskap: 200::Rettsvitenskap: 340 | non-party

The elaborate legal framework contained in Part VI of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) resembles both codification and progressive development of the law of the sea as it relates to the continental shelf. As a non-party to the Convention, the United States is only bound to those provisions which now reflect customary rules of international law or have otherwise created rights or obligations for third states. This thesis identifies several distinct components of the continental shelf regime which emerged from the LOSC, while considering their potential customary status in light of the legal history of the continental shelf, state practice, and international case law. Additionally, an analysis of the procedural role of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in the process of establishing outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles yields insights for the position of coastal states which have not acceded to the Convention. The findings of this research are synthesized to weigh the implications of non-accession to the LOSC for US entitlement to a continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.
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