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28 J. Mar. L. & Com. 305 (1997)
Port State Enforcement: A Comment on Article 218 of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention

handle is hein.journals/jmlc28 and id is 313 raw text is: journal of Maritime Law and Commerce, Vol. 28, No. 2, April, 1997

Port State Enforcement: A Comment on
Article 218 of the 1982 Law of the Sea
The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS
Convention) establishes the constitutional framework for the exercise of
national jurisdiction over ocean space, resources, and activities. The treaty
came into effect for ratifying States in November 1994. That prominent
ocean users such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada are
not yet parties is usually treated as a technical matter unrelated to the
adoption of much of the LOS Convention into national practice and
international law. The notorious exception to this is the deep seabed regime
found in Part XI.
Significant modifications to Part XI have been made by the 1994
Agreement Relating to Implementation of Part XI.1 The goal of these
modifications is to encourage industrial nations, particularly the United
States, to overcome their distaste for the original deep seabed regime and
join the modified LOS Convention.2 With the exception of deep seabed
issues, the LOS Convention is a standard-setting document for ocean
activities and, while non-conformity with its provisions is not uncommon,
conformity with its wording is a virtue.
The central marine environmental concern of the negotiators of the LOS
Convention was the establishment of greater accountability for and control
of vessel-source pollution. Hence, the most detailed provisions in the marine
*Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria (British Columbia); Associate, Oceans
Institute of Canada (Halifax). B.A., University of Toronto; LL.B., LL.M., Dalhousie Law School. This
is a revised version of a paper presented at the 1995 Law of the Sea continuing legal education course
held at the University of Washington School of Law (Seattle).
133 I.L.M. 1311 (1994).
2Both the LOS Convention and the 1994 Agreement are currently before the United States Senate
Foreign Relations Committee. See Message from the President of the United States Transmitting the U.N.
Convention on the Law of the Sea, 103d Cong., 2d Sess., S. Doc. 103 (1994).

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