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Mind the Gap in the gairs: The Role of Other Instruments in losc Regime Implementation in the Offshore Energy Sector

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While the international legal framework for offshore energy activities is anchored in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention (losc), it “is complemented by an array of relevant instruments and measures at the global, regional and national levels”. This article examines the role of generally accepted international rules and standards (gairs) in the implementation of the losc in the offshore energy sector, with particular reference to the decommissioning of offshore installations, marine pollution from continental shelf exploration and exploitation, submarine cables and pipelines, and shipping. This analysis reveals that this role has been one of facilitating, strengthening and updating the losc in the light of legal and technical developments since its conclusion—a process of normative reinforcement rather than normative conflict. Yet, as highlighted in the conclusion, significant gaps nonetheless remain in the regulation of offshore energy activities.

Affiliations: 1: All Souls CollegeOxford OX1 4ALUK


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