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The seas have always proved an extraordinary resource for the limited number of communities having access to them. Although in modem times the seas have been considered a resource available for the use of all nations and the exclusive property of none, the recent history of the law of the sea continues to reflect conflicts between states seeking unhampered navigation and utilization of resources and other states seeking exclusive control over adjacent seas. The international law of the sea seeks to moderate these competing interests by "establishing and maintaining a public order in the shared use of, and shared competence over, the oceans. '

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