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5 The Future of the Commission

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Chapter Summary

The legal historical review showed that when the UNGA decided to convene a new global conference on the Law of the sea in 1973, one of the main purposes was to adopt 'a clear and precise definition of the outer limits of coastal state jurisdiction'. It can be discussed to what extent the drafters actually achieved their mandate. In fact, these provisions have intricate normative implications. First, as a treaty provision, Article 76 is extraordinary in its complexity and legislative technique. Second, there is a check on coastal state unilateralism in the application of Article 76 by the Commission. This chapter illustrates, through the example of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, what contemporary international law theory sees as a dislocation of decision-making in the law among nations.

Keywords: Article 76 of LOS convention; coastal state unilateralism; contemporary international law theory; continental shelf; global conference; Law of sea; UNGA



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