Thursday, April 2, 2020

Koh: Building a New Legal Order for the Oceans

Tommy Koh has published Building a New Legal Order for the Oceans (NUS Press 2019). Here's the abstract:

The most important of Tommy Koh’s writings on the Law of the Sea are brought together in Building a New Legal Order for the Oceans. As President of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, Koh shares his perspective on the history of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the concepts, tensions and intentions that underlie many of the new legal concepts, and the unique negotiating process of the UNCLOS.

The UNCLOS has been called a constitution for the oceans and is critically important today in a world rocked by climate change and biodiversity loss, and where deep seabed resources are potentially of vital strategic importance. It is absolutely crucial to find new ways to manage the common heritage of mankind, while navigating the priorities and expectations of those who depend on the oceans. Equally, peace at sea is made possible by the UNCLOS. Koh discusses current threats to maritime security. He explains the intricacies of the disputes in the South China Sea and the success of maritime boundary conciliation between Australia and Timor-Leste.

What can be learned from the success of UNCLOS? How can we build on that success, and manage the new tensions that arise in the Law of the Sea?