Committed to the Law of the Sea: In Most Ways, Except for One - How the United States Helps to Preserve the International Maritime Order in East Asia, Even Though it has Not Yet Joined the Law of the Sea Convention

in The Asian Century -- What International Norms and Practices? (French Institute of International Relations) (2014) at 33-39

8 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2014

See all articles by Jonathan G. Odom

Jonathan G. Odom

Government of the United States of America - U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps

Date Written: September 12, 2014

Abstract

The international maritime order is governed by the law of the sea and reinforced by rules and principles that, if followed by the nations involved, can help to manage and reduce tensions in geographic areas around the world, including in the waters of East Asia. A significant portion of the law of the sea is codified in the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS or Law of the Sea Convention). One of the few nations of the world that is noticeably absent from the roll-call of state-parties to the Convention is the United States. This official absence might cause some observers to question whether the United States is truly committed to the rule-set reflected in the Convention.

To the contrary, this chapter demonstrates that the United States is committed to the legal regime reflected in the Convention in most ways except for one (i.e., accession). First, this chapter acknowledges some of the significant ways in which the Convention contributes to the international maritime order. Second, it deconstructs the overall situation in the waters of East Asia, and show several ways how a rules-based approach with the Convention can help to improve some of the specific aspects of that situation. Third, it discusses the U.S. role in helping to preserve the international maritime order reflected in the Convention, notwithstanding its status as a non-party to the Convention.

Keywords: Law of the Sea, UNCLOS, United States

Suggested Citation

Odom, Jonathan G., Committed to the Law of the Sea: In Most Ways, Except for One - How the United States Helps to Preserve the International Maritime Order in East Asia, Even Though it has Not Yet Joined the Law of the Sea Convention (September 12, 2014). in The Asian Century -- What International Norms and Practices? (French Institute of International Relations) (2014) at 33-39. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2540051

Jonathan G. Odom (Contact Author)

Government of the United States of America - U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps ( email )

United States

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