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Forum Shopping for UNCLOS Disputes Relating to Marine Scientific Research

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Chapter Summary

The ability to resort unilaterally to binding dispute settlement remains one of the important features of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The parties to an UNCLOS dispute have a choice of forum, both in advance of any dispute and ad hoc should one arise, but this requires the agreement of both parties; it is not a choice that can be exercised by the claimant State alone. Both parties will of course seek a forum in which they think they are more likely to win, but unlike private litigation neither can dictate a forum to their own advantage. There will be advantages and disadvantages to whatever choice they make, but the nature of the dispute should be considered carefully before deciding on the most appropriate forum. In this respect the characteristics of disputes concerning marine scientific research are sufficiently special to merit particular attention.

Keywords: forum shopping; marine scientific research; UNCLOS disputes



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