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  • Titill er á ensku Time to Set the Record Straight: The Legal Status of Marine Genetic Resources found within the Deep Seabed Area
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  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Later this year, the international community will assemble in New York for the first of four Intergovernmental Conference’s that have been scheduled to take place over the next twenty-four months. At these, negotiators will be tasked with elaborating the text of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC), on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. These Conferences are likely to represent some of the most significant gatherings in international environmental law-making this century. However, the process towards this point has been fraught with friction and uncertainty, and characterised by an ideological divide between the ‘developed North’ and the ‘developing South.’ And, in this respect, a great number of obstacles remain to be overcome. The largest of these pertains to the legal status of marine genetic resources (MGRs) that are found within the deep seabed Area, and the attendant question as to which legal principle should underpin the governance of these under a new international agreement. This question has proven to be one of the most contentious within the contemporary international law of the sea, and has arisen through the identification of legal ambiguities under the LOSC. And, moreover, it is also within this context that the ideological divide between ‘North’ and ‘South’ has been most pronounced; whilst the former are seeking an extension of the principle of the freedom of the high seas to deep seabed MGRs, the latter submit that these should be governed under the common heritage of mankind. The resulting stalemate that has been observed between the two has subsequently engendered increasing support for a third approach; one that advocates for a pragmatic solution, and seeks to avoid ideological controversy. The process thus far has recalled the intensive period of negotiations that preceded the adoption of the LOSC. Then, the international community undertook the seminal decision to declare the deep seabed Area as the common heritage of mankind, engendering a paradigm shift in the international governance of ocean waters. Now, it is suggested, it must do the same. The unfettered exploitation of the deep seabed’s biological components could result in the extinction of MGRs, and serve to further enhance the disparities in economic wealth between the ‘North’ and ‘South.’ It is therefore time to set the record straight, and for the forthcoming Intergovernmental Conference to explicitly declare that deep seabed MGRs are to be the common heritage of mankind.

  • 7.5.2018

Skráarnafn Stærð AðgangurLýsingSkráartegund 
LL.M. Final Thesis - Colm Hastings.pdf993.41 kBOpinnHeildartextiPDFSkoða/Opna
Colm Hastings - Electronic Statement.pdf53.04 kBLokaðurYfirlýsingPDF