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Institutional troubles within the ISA: the growing politicization of the LTC

Klaas Willaert (UGent)
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Abstract
Beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction, the seabed and its mineral resources are governed by a comprehensive international regime, which determines by whom and under what conditions these natural resources can be exploited. Although the fundamental principles of the deep seabed regime are set out in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and the 1994 Implementation Agreement, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) also plays a vital role by defining the applicable rules and evaluating incoming applications. In both of these areas, the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) performs key tasks and guides the law- and decision-making process as an organ of the Council. However, the role, composition and functioning of the LTC has not been spared from criticism. Although the Legal and Technical Commission inherently is an independent organ, consisting of neutral experts who provide legal and scientific advice to prepare and support the decisions and activities of the Council, it has been increasingly politicized over the years. Disproportionate representation of regional groups, shortage of essential expertise and lack of transparency can be considered the main issues and there is a pressing need for a solution. This article offers a critical analysis of these matters and suggests suitable corrections, in order to find a sensible compromise that all parties can agree upon.
Keywords
law of the sea, deep sea mining, the Area, common heritage of mankind, Legal and Technical Commission

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Citation

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MLA
Willaert, Klaas. “Institutional Troubles within the ISA: The Growing Politicization of the LTC.” The Journal of International Maritime Law, vol. 26, no. 1, Lawtext Publishing, 2020, pp. 60–73.
APA
Willaert, K. (2020). Institutional troubles within the ISA: the growing politicization of the LTC. The Journal of International Maritime Law, 26(1), 60–73.
Chicago author-date
Willaert, Klaas. 2020. “Institutional Troubles within the ISA: The Growing Politicization of the LTC.” The Journal of International Maritime Law 26 (1): 60–73.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Willaert, Klaas. 2020. “Institutional Troubles within the ISA: The Growing Politicization of the LTC.” The Journal of International Maritime Law 26 (1): 60–73.
Vancouver
1.
Willaert K. Institutional troubles within the ISA: the growing politicization of the LTC. The Journal of International Maritime Law. 2020;26(1):60–73.
IEEE
[1]
K. Willaert, “Institutional troubles within the ISA: the growing politicization of the LTC,” The Journal of International Maritime Law, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 60–73, 2020.
@article{8658802,
  abstract     = {Beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction, the seabed and its mineral resources are governed by a comprehensive international regime, which determines by whom and under what conditions these natural resources can be exploited. Although the fundamental principles of the deep seabed regime are set out in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and the 1994 Implementation Agreement, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) also plays a vital role by defining the applicable rules and evaluating incoming applications. In both of these areas, the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) performs key tasks and guides the law- and decision-making process as an organ of the Council. However, the role, composition and functioning of the LTC has not been spared from criticism. Although the Legal and Technical Commission inherently is an independent organ, consisting of neutral experts who provide legal and scientific advice to prepare and support the decisions and activities of the Council, it has been increasingly politicized over the years. Disproportionate representation of regional groups, shortage of essential expertise and lack of transparency can be considered the main issues and there is a pressing need for a solution. This article offers a critical analysis of these matters and suggests suitable corrections, in order to find a sensible compromise that all parties can agree upon.},
  author       = {Willaert, Klaas},
  issn         = {1478-8586},
  journal      = {The Journal of International Maritime Law},
  keywords     = {law of the sea,deep sea mining,the Area,common heritage of mankind,Legal and Technical Commission},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {60--73},
  publisher    = {Lawtext Publishing},
  title        = {Institutional troubles within the ISA: the growing politicization of the LTC},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2020},
}