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The Creation of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea as a Specialized Court under the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea

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Chapter Summary

The 1958 Geneva Conventions on the Law of the Sea, except for the Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas, which includes special provisions on settlement of disputes, followed the practice of dealing with the matter in an Optional Protocol. The idea of establishing a tribunal with compulsory jurisdiction to deal with law of the sea disputes, was presented by the United States on the last day of the last session of the Seabed Committee in 1973. Independently of the choice of procedures, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has residual compulsory jurisdiction in two special instances: provisional measures and prompt release of vessels. The most important innovation in the Convention's regime for the compulsory settlement of disputes is the creation of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea with a broad ratione materiae and ratione personarum jurisdiction.

Keywords: international tribunal; Law of the Sea; Seabed Committee; United Nations Convention



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