Revisiting the Thames Formula: The Evolving Role of the International Maritime Organization and Its Member States in Implementing the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention
San Diego International Law Journal, Vol. 10, pp. 265-333, 2009
88 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2008 Last revised: 24 Dec 2011
Date Written: October 26, 2008
The 1982 LOS Convention locked in the "Thames Formula," an approach that assigns primacy to flag States in implementing and enforcing the international maritime regime. Decades of experience have demonstrated that the balance of interests struck by the Thames Formula fails to meet the safety, security and environmental protection demands of an increasingly risk averse international community. While the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme promises to improve flag State performance, additional confidence building measures will be needed. In addition, it may be necessary to consider an approach that expands the complementary role of non-flag States and a larger role for the IMO.
Keywords: Flag States, Port States, Coastal States, Law of the Sea, International Maritime Organization, Maritime Safety, Maritime Security, Marine Environmental Protection, Port State Control, VIMSAS
JEL Classification: K32, K33, K42, L92
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation