In Øystein Jensen (ed), The Development of the Law of the Sea Convention: The Role of International Courts and Tribunals. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020, pp. 262-267.

On the basis of the preceding substantive chapters of the book, this concluding chapter offers reflections on the contribution of courts and tribunals to the development of UNCLOS thus far. Attention is paid to those areas where jurisprudence has brought significant clarifications and legal development, but also those where the contribution of case law has been rather scanty. Given the proliferation of courts and tribunals called upon to hear cases regarding the interpretation and application of UNCLOS, the author questions whether there is a risk of fragmentation and loss of overall perspective on the law. In conclusion, it is noted further causes for concern with respect to dispute settlement in the law of the sea – in particular the refusal of states parties to participate in proceedings before courts and tribunals, and the attendant danger of undermining the original intent underlying the pivotal dispute settlement system that UNCLOS represents.



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