29 Ocean L. Memo 1 (1987)

handle is hein.journals/ocoaslme29 and id is 1 raw text is: 





Ocean and Coastal  Law Center  * School of Law * University of  Oregon * Eugene  97403






     Oce a n                                                          - m o


ISSUE 29


February 15, 1987


Recent Developments in Ocean and Coastal Law, 1986


I.   INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS

     A.  1982 U.N. Convention on  the Law
of the Sea
         1.  Ratification
     Seven  states ratified  the Conven-
tion  in  1986: Indonesia  (February 3);
Trinidad  and Tobago  (April 25); Kuwait
(May 2); Yugoslavia  (May 5); Philippines
(May   8);  Nigeria   (August  14);  and
Guinea-Bissau  (August  25).   The total
number  of  ratifications now  stands at
31.    The  Convention  will  enter into
force a  year after the sixtieth ratifi-
cation.   To date,  the states ratifying
the  Convention have  been predominately
developing nations.   With the exception
of   Yugoslavia's,   1986  ratifications
followed this trend.

     Despite  the present lack of formal
adoption, commentators  view many of the
Convention's   provisions  as  embodying
customary international law.

         2.  Implementation of the Deep
Seabed Regime: Resolution of Overlapping
Claims by Seabed Mining Pioneers
     During  this year's annual session,
the   Preparatory  Commission   for  the
International   Seabed   Authority   (the
Commission)   adopted  an  Understanding
outlining  procedures  and  mechanisms
for  resolving  the  overlapping  mining
claims  of  pioneer  investors  in the
Northeast  Pacific.  U.N.  Doc. LOS/PCN/
L.41/Rev.   1/Annex,  Sept.   11,  1986,
reprinted in  25 I.L.M. 1326 (1986)  (the
Understanding).   The Understanding also
proposes a  formula for resolving claims
overlapping  those  of  U.S.  consortia.
The  Commission   is  an   interim  body
charged with  implementing Resolution II
of the Final Act of the Convention which
prescribes  the  rights  and  duties  of
pioneer  seabed investors.   Under the
Convention,   these   initial  investors
receive  special rights  in exchange for
effectively capitalizing  the activities
of the Enterprise,  the operative arm of
the   International   Seabed  Authority.
Overlaps  among  the  areas  covered  in


applications  for registration by France,
USSR   and  Japan  prompted   the  Under-
standing.   Those nations  have agreed to
submit  revised  applications subject  to
Resolution  II and  the guidelines estab-
lished  in  the  Understanding.   See  25
I.L.M.  at 1326.

      Paragraph 15,  apparently aimed  at
 U.S. consortia  and others currently  at
 odds  with   the   Convention's   seabed
.regime, promises similar  treatment to
potential  applicants who  assume obli-
gations  similar to those of  the pioneer
investors  and submit  their applications
before    the  Convention   enters   into
force.    However,  paragraph  18 of  the
Understanding   expressly   states   that
these  procedures and mechanisms do not
establish  precedent for the implementa-
tion  of  the  regime  of  seabed  mining
under   the Convention  and  in  no  way
alter  the Convention.

      B.  National Ocean Legislation:
 Mexico
      On January 8, 1986, Mexico  promul-
 gated  draft  comprehensive  legislation
 governing conduct  of activities  within
 its maritime zones.   Mexico, among  the
 first to declare  an Exclusive  Economic
 Zone (EEZ) (February 6,  1976), ratified
 the 1982  LOS  Convention on  March  18,
 1983.

      In   an   explanatory   memorandum,
Mexico's   President  stressed  both  the
purpose   and  necessity  of   the  draft
Act.   The Act is meant to bring Mexico's
internal  positive  law  into line  with
[the]  new international legal order  . .
.  established by  the 1982 LOS  Conven-
tion.   LOS Bulletin  No. 7 at 46  (April
1986).   The  memorandum also  emphasizes
the  genuine  practical  results,  espe-
cially  for developing countries, of the
rules   established  in  the  Convention.
The most  important of these rules is the
already  recognized right of every coast-
al  state  to  establish a  200  nautical
mile  (n.m.) EEZ as the keystone in the
new  international order.

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