Significant consequences to US for not embracing third party dispute settlement within UNCLOS
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Refusing to fully embrace the third-party dispute settlement mechanisms of the Convention has its costs. As noted above, Article 298(3) of the Convention would prohibit the United States from judicially challenging other states' "military activities," if the United States declares itself exempt from third-party proceedings involving military activities. The same is true of other matters falling within the scope of Article 298, including the Article 298(1)(b) optional exception for enforcement activities concerning EEZ fisheries and marine scientific research. The United States supports unimpeded marine scientific research and has a distant-water fishing industry. Under the Advice and Consent Resolution, however, the United States could not invoke the Convention's provisions on compulsory procedures entailing binding decisions to protect U.S. actors who engage in those activities from interference by other coastal states.1 0 1 The record of tribunals operating under the Convention should help to assure the United States that those tribunals can help to reinforce Convention norms, to the benefit of the United States. For example, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has, in cautious fashion, reinforced the text of and the basic compromises embodied in the Convention.
"The United States and the Law of the Sea Convention: U.S. Views on the Settlement of International Law Disputes in International Tribunals and U.S. Courts
." The Publicist
. Vol. 1. (2009): 27-52. [ More (9 quotes) ]
The costs associated with the dispute resolution provisions in UNCLOS are similar to those the United States is already subject to under the principles of universal jurisdiction and territoriality and numerous other agreements the U.S. has already ratified. Furthermore, the Convention provides the United States with an escape from mandatory dispute resolution which the U.S. has already invoked in its signing statements to ensure that the U.S. military will not be threatened by UNCLOS tribunals.