Arbitration under UNCLOS: An analysis of arbitration in Law of the Sea

  • Author: Parth Rishik
  • Co-Author: Malvika Sharma
  • Institution: Law College Dehradun, Faculty of Uttaranchal University
  • Publication Date: 15th February 2021
  • Affiliation: Centre for Study of Dispute Resolution


In this paper, the authors will discuss a particular type of arbitration, i.e., “Arbitration in the Law of Sea Convention”, which is formally addressed as “U.N Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)”. This convention was put into force in 1994 but was first adopted in 1982 at the Montego Bay. It is very evidently seen that UNCLOS is the source of most of the interstate Arbitration, as said by Brooks W. Daley (Deputy Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hauge). The fact is not surprising as most of the world is covered by the sea and the fact that a hundred and sixty-eight (168) states are party to the convention, as of the report published in November 2017. When we talk about disputes in regard to the Law of the Sea, we usually think about maritime delimitations disagreements, but the ambit of the matter covered under UNCLOS is wide as it covers matters of fisheries, conservation of the maritime environment, shipping, piracy, pollution, in addition to maritime borders. The practical significance of the arbitration in this field is huge. For instance, a tribunal passing an arbitral award in the favour of a state in terms of entitlement to use the natural sea resources. Thus, arbitral awards passed in the matters of the law of the sea can have profound impacts on the communities concerned, the maritime environment, the maritime borders, etc.

This article will probe into and discuss in details the following topics:

  • Mechanisms for settlement under UNCLOS;
  • Arbitration under UNCLOS;
  • Why Arbitration over Judicial Settlement in the matters of Law of the Sea;
  • The South China Sea Arbitration.

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Arbitration under UNCLOS: An analysis of arbitration in Law of the Sea

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