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In their interactions in the larger arena, states and their surrogates may be observed to employ many different types of resources as bases of power and to make claims of many varying degrees in comprehensiveness of authority and in scope and duration of control over such resources. The more important resources so employed and subjected to claim include, apart from manpower, not only the land masses, in all their protean forms, but also the oceans, air space, outer space, polar areas, rivers and so on. Some of these resources, such as the oceans, air space over the oceans, and international rivers, which experience has demonstrated to admit of a high degree of shared use by reasonable mutual accommodation, have been generally regarded as not being subject to exclusive appropriation by particular states, and the only claims which states have reciprocally honored in traditional international law have been those asserting shared access and requiring reasonable accommodation among users. Other resources, such as the land masses and closely proximate waters and air space, have commonly been regarded as admitting only in modest degree of shared use and competence, and states have reciprocally honored each other's claims to a most comprehensive and continuing, exclusive competence over such resources; indeed the very conception of the contemporary state embodies, as is well known, this high degree of exclusivity in the competence of a territorially organized group. The policies followed by the general community in this allocation of resources between inclusive and exclusive authoritative control have, building upon the experience that inclusive use and competence most often achieve the greatest production and widest distribution of goods and services for the benefit of all, established a very strong presumption in favor of the inclusive control of sharable resources, with exclusive control being protected only when it can be shown to contribute most to common interest.

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