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This report, prepared at the request of the United Nations, sets out in summary fashion key legal issues likely to arise from the development and deployment of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) systems. A number of such studies have already been published and most legal issues appear to have been considered in one or more of them. However, a number of issues which may be of importance appear to have thus far evaded mention or have received summary treatment. Other matters have been treated in nonsystematic fashion or severed from a context of other issues which may emphasize their significance. As for a number of others which have been treated, more might yet be said. Hence the approach which follows will be comprehensive, if summary. Reference is to international law, unless consideration of domestic legislation is pertinent to the former.

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