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The Constitutional Characteristics of the Area as the Common Heritage of Mankind

Finska, Linda

Opinnäytetyöt , Gradut ja muut tutkielmat
Alkuperäinen julkaisupäivä: 15.1.2016


The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea regulates comprehensively world’s oceans. The Convention is commonly referred to as a constitution for the oceans. The aim of this thesis is to examine whether this refrain is accurate in respect of the Area and its resources. The Area consists of the seabed and ocean floor and subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. The Area covers approximately 50 per cent of the earth’s surface. It has significant amounts of economically valuable mineral resources in the form of polymetallic nodules, cobalt crusts, and massive sulphides. The Area and its resources are regulated to be the common heritage of mankind. The international nature of the deep seabed regime requires that the constitutional characteristics have to be studied in global terms. Therefore, the research draws content for argumentation from global constitutionalism theories. Global constitutionalism theories seek to find international rules and principles which are so important that they deserve the label constitutional. The thesis comprises two main parts. The first part provides an introduction of the Area as the common heritage of mankind. The second part deals with the constitutional characteristics of the Area and its resources. The common heritage of mankind is of the essence for the constitutional argumentation, as it provides jurisdictional, social, institutional and normative aspects to contemplate. The common heritage of mankind principle is the bridge between the deep seabed regime and global constitutionalism theories.


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