Title

The United States and the Law of the Sea Convention: U.S. Views Concerning the Settlement of International Law Disputes in International Tribunals and U.S. Courts

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

The United States has not yet accepted the Law of the Sea Convention and the 1994 Part XI Implementation Agreement, which is to be read together with the Convention as a single instrument. The U.S. opposition to the Convention reflects longstanding and deeply held positions of some segments of the U.S. body politic about foreign policy and international law. Part I of this article discusses these opposition themes. If we understand how opposition to the Convention links to U.S. historical traditions, as well as understand the underpinnings of support for the Convention, we can better appreciate likely U.S. positions. Part II of this article examines U.S. attitudes towards the jurisdiction of international courts and tribunals authorized to interpret and apply the Convention, and Part III examines U.S. attitudes towards application of the Convention in U.S. courts. Finally, Part IV of this article critically evaluates restrictive U.S. positions towards the jurisdiction of international third-party dispute settlement forums under the Convention and U.S. resistance to the direct application of the Convention in U.S. courts.