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Commentary: Property Rights In Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction—Not Too Late For A Propter Debate?

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Chapter Summary

The first thing one notices in any discussion of property rights in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) is a conceptual obstacle: the lack, in public international law, of any law of property as such. If absence of property rights is the problem at the root of the tragedy of the commons, then according to classical economics there are two possible ways to solve it by introducing such rights. One is to retain the commons and the other is to establish private property rights. To conclude, one seems to be poised at a delicate moment in the history of international fisheries law, where the consequences of the divergence between States' rhetoric and their concrete actions could take in one of two directions.

Keywords: areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ); international fisheries law



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