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New Law for the High Seas

Mar 31, 2020

Cymie R. Payne

Volume 46 (2019) - Issue 1

In international law as in other fields, elegance is the result of careful design, appropriateness for context, and functional performance. David Caron’s interest in thinking systematically about environmental treaty design led him to ponder the policy tools and institutions that can be created by States when they negotiate treaties. This essay examines aspects of design for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fashion a new treaty for the high seas, the ocean space that lies more than two hundred nautical miles offshore, and which provides more than half of the oxygen we breathe. This paper also suggests some of the issues that negotiators will confront in their attempts to govern other areas beyond sovereign State control, including outer space and cyberspace.