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Ocean Regimes As Reflected In 500 Years Of Multilateral Treaty-Making

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Chapter Summary

An ocean regime, or regimes, is discernable in multilateral treaties. Douglas Millar Johnston would be fascinated by the broad patterns and trends of multilateral treaties especially when they provide a way to test conventional wisdom and unproven assumptions. However, Douglas probably would feel that more attention should be paid to system-altering treaties such as the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) that have enormously more influence, far more than one multilateral treaty among 500. The authors analyzed three important subsets of ocean treaties: living resources, navigation including SOLAS, and marine pollution. They examined how a very important distinction manifests itself in ocean treaties. Multilateral treaties divide quite clearly into general, open to all States, and plurilateral, limited by interest, geography or a combination. The Comprehensive Statistical Database of Multilateral Treaties (CSDMT) provides a broad context within which to place ocean treaties.

Keywords: Douglas Millar Johnston; LOS Convention; multilateral treaties; ocean regime



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