US will have no capacity to challenge CLCS claims unless it is a full member of UNCLOS
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The Convention provides institutional methods through which the other Arctic States are able to protect their rights under UNCLOS, which may well come at the expense of American interests. Instrumental bodies such as the ISA's executive body, the Council, will assume a highly influential role in the Arctic. In particular, the Council is responsible for promulgating the policies that would apply to Arctic mining. n335 The ability of the U.S. to play a part in the Arctic and protect against potentially inimical mining policies require participation in the Authority, and in the decisionmaking Council in particular. n336 The CLCS presents a similar problem. The CLCS process is kept secret, and only Member States may appoint commissioners to [*241] take part in the decision and review the data submitted by other countries. n337 Acceptance or rejection of a shelf proposal is final, and such a crucial decision may well depend on a variety of subjective factors, such as "the knowledge, the experience, and occasionally the bias of the scientist involved." Without an American commissioner, the U.S. cannot evaluate the content or feasibility of continental shelf submissions set to be filed by the other Arctic States. The element of time also adds to the sense of urgency, since a State must wait ten years from the date of ratification before submitting a continental shelf claim to the CLCS.
"Implications of Global Warming on State Sovereignty and Arctic Resources under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: How the Arctic is no Longer Communis Omnium Naturali Jure
." Richmond Journal of Global Law & Business
. Vol. 8. (Winter 2008): 195-248. [ More (12 quotes) ]
The United States cannot currently participate in the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, which oversees ocean delineation on the outer limits of the extended continental shelf (outer continental shelf). Even though it is collecting scientific evidence to support eventual claims off its Atlantic, Gulf, and Alaskan coasts, the United States, without becoming party to the convention, has no standing in the CLCS.