The law of the sea and international conflict over undersea mining: which way is up?
THE LAW OF the Sea, laid down by the United Nations governs how the oceans can be used. It should be an instrument that fosters international peace in the way it regulates and manages the oceans. In fact it passes over management of the oeeans to other bodies and the regulations often trigger disquiet, resentment and a perceived lack of justice. These claims are argued in relation to fishing, whaling, piracy, exploitation of undersea cultural heritage and indigenous rights in another place? Here I am concerned to examine new moves within the Law of the Sea in relation to undersea mining. My contention is that the Law actively promotes conflict between states by proposing an uncertain basis on which to grant mining exploration and exploitation rights. Furthermore this basis is unjust as many states are left out of consideration. Even more importantly the Law creates a conflict between those who are operating from an economic motive and those who would like to see pristine environments preserved.