Simply not the case that U.S. military would be subject to U.N. jurisdiction under UNCLOS
Third, some allege that in joining, our military would be subject to the jurisdiction of international courts – and that this represents a surrendering of U.S. sovereignty. But once again, this is not the case. The Convention provides that a party may declare it does not accept any dispute resolution procedures for disputes concerning military activities. This election has been made by 20 other nations that have joined the Convention, and the United States would do the same. The bottom line is that neither U.S. military activities nor a U.S. decision as to what constitutes a U.S. military activity would be subject to review by any international court or tribunal.
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Some opponents of UNCLOS have argued that by ratifying UNCLOS, U.S. military forces could be subject to adverse ruling by international tribunals through the dispute resolution mechanisms of the treaty. However, the U.S. defense department has reviewed the relevant law and has found no undue liability risk to U.S. forces. Furthermore, in the Senate's Advice and Consent resolution that would ratify UNCLOS, the U.S. has taken advantage of article 298(1) in UNCLOS to exempt itself from all dispute settlement.Related Quotes:
- US advice and consent resolution regarding UNCLOS already excludes military activities from third party arbitration
- On balance the U.S should welcome the dispute resolution mechanisms in the treaty
- U.S. can issue signing statement upon ratifying UNCLOS that clarifies to interpretation of the military activities exemption
- U.S. can exempt its military activities from dispute resolution tribunals
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