International Law Studies

Article Title

The Fortieth Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea


The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea opened for signature on December 10, 1982. In commemoration of this important date, International Law Studies opens its 40th Anniversary Forum with this keynote compendium essay from Bernard Oxman.

"The most basic object of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea was to replace a system of conflicting unilateral claims of right with global agreement on the rules of the law of the sea and the process for their implementation, interpretation, and application. That remains the Convention’s most significant contribution to the rule of law in international affairs. Its full realization demands nothing less than global ratification."