UNCLOS would establish global rule of law over states subordinating their powers to a new authority
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Proponents of the Convention acknowledge the far-reaching political and legal ramifications of U.S. adherence to the treaty. University of Virginia School of Law Professor John Norton Moore, a supporter of the Convention who testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on October 14, 2003, stated that he sees it as a means for fostering the rule of law in international affairs. In fact, he states that adherence to the Convention is “one of the most important law-defining international conventions of the Twentieth Century.”
This is quite an assertion. In fact, it is the most troubling aspect of the Convention because the conduct of international relations for centuries has been a more a political than a legal process. Unacknowledged in the language about fostering the rule of law in international relations is the reality that in this particular case it entails subordinating the powers of the participating states to the dictates of an international authority. When it comes to the essential powers for the conduct of international relations, the use of force, and the exercise of diplomacy, they are not readily divisible but they are readily transferable. The Convention is a vehicle for transferring these essential powers from the participating states to the international authority established by the treaty itself. It represents the establishment of the rule of law over sovereign states more than it is establishing a rule of law made by them.