International Law Studies


Natalie Klein


Australia has voiced its commitment to the “rules-based order” since 2008 and the rules-based order has become a touchpoint of both Australian defense and foreign policy. Australia has also voiced its commitment to international law, particularly the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to meet challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including in the South and East China Seas. References to international law have often been bundled in or left adjacent to the rules-based order and the two terms are not synonymous. This article discusses the role of international law in the rules-based order as it relates to Australia’s maritime security interests.