JEAIL > Volume 16(1); 2023 > Articles
Research Paper
Published online: May 30, 2023

Forty Years’ Reflection of the Legislative Features of the UNCLOS: A Critical Analysis

Steel Rometius
Zhejiang University Guanghua Law School
No. 51 Zhijiang Road, Hangzhou 310008, P.R. China.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( University Law School, 100 Inharo, Michuhol-gu, Incheon 22212 Korea. / nses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Forty years have passed since the UNCLOS was adopted and it is necessary to reexamine its successes and failures. This article will set out to check the four legislative features of the UNCLOS and then make some suggestions. From the aspect of legislative technique, the UNCLOS is extensive with an ambitious framework but is vague in details. From the aspect of a principled position, meanwhile, its provisions are mainly beneficial to countries with long and unimpeded sea lines but not to landlocked countries, short coastlines, or an impeded outward extension. From the aspect of rights and interest division, the division of maritime rights and interests of countries in the UNCLOS is not operational in practice. From the aspect of dispute resolution, it has constructed an ambitious mechanism accommodating various international judicial institutions, which is, however, too complicated, lacks focus, and has loopholes. The international community should consider revising and improving the Convention in view of certain shortcomings and deficiencies in its legislative features.

Keywords : Legislative Features, UNCLOS, Legislative Technique, Principled Position, Rights and Interest Division, Dispute Resolution

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