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The Common Heritage Of Mankind

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Chapter Summary

The concept of the 'Common Heritage of Mankind' represents a fascinating and controversial issue of international law. This chapter provides an analysis of the existing legal instruments in which the 'Common Heritage of Mankind' concept has found application. From a legal perspective, the 'Common Heritage of Mankind' concept finds its antecedents in the res communis theory. The development of the 'Common Heritage of Mankind' concept into a principle of international law was firstly advanced in any formal context by United Nations Ambassador Arvid Pardo of Malta in 1967. The law of the sea and space law, while making references to 'mankind' as a whole, granting certain rights to it and obliging States to a special behaviour towards it, do not establish 'mankind' as a subject of international law. Legal scholars hold different interpretations on the nature of the Common Heritage of Mankind concept.

Keywords: common heritage of mankind; international law; legal scholars



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