Publication Details

Gullett, W. (2013). Legislative implementation of the law of the sea convention in Australia. University of Tasmania Law Review, 32 (2), 184-207.

Link to publisher version (URL)

University of Tasmania Law Review


All States with marine and maritime interests need to ensure that their domestic laws enable them to meet their obligations, and to take advantage of the rights afforded to them, under the international law of the sea. This body of international law is structured around one of the most extensive and widely ratified international treaties: the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ('LOSC').1 This paper reviews the general process by which obligations and rights in international treaties become part of domestic law and then examines Australia's experience in incorporating into its domestic law three broad areas of prescriptive and enforcement jurisdiction provided in the LOSC: maritime zones, fisheries and navigation. It is revealed that there are a number of areas in which Australia's domestic law does not align exactly with provisions in the LOSC. This is due to the nature of the process for domestic legislative incorporation of international law and the desire by the Australian Government to contribute to the development of the international law of the sea in areas where LOSC provisions are open to a range of interpretations.