The International Seabed Authority and the Development of the Legal Regime for Deep Seabed Mining
39 Pages Posted: 17 May 2010
Date Written: May 17, 2010
The International Seabed Authority was established in 1994 in order to oversee the exploration and exploitation of the deep seabed for minerals. The deep seabed is designated as the common heritage of mankind. The Authority is responsible for managing the mineral resources in this area on behalf of the international community. The legal framework for deep seabed mining is found in Part XI of the Law of the Sea Convention. However, the Convention was not intended to contain a comprehensive framework for seabed mining and the Authority was also invested with powers to adopt rules and regulations to fill in the gaps in Part XI of the Convention. This paper considers the scope and limits of those powers. It analyses the processes and procedures which apply to the law-making powers conferred on the Authority and to what extent the exercise of these powers amounts to quasi-legislative activity. Finally, it considers what mechanisms are available to control the ability of the Authority to make rules and regulations.
Keywords: international law of the sea, deep seabed mining, international law-making, international seabed authority, international seabed area, common heritage of mankind, seabed disputes chamber
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