San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


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One of the more ambiguous terms to have surfaced in recent law of the sea negotiations is in reference to certain States as being "geographically-disadvantaged." Few criteria have been spelled out for inclusion in such groups, and the only serious suggestions for distinguishing among degrees of disadvantage have been those which tend to put land-locked States in a special category of misfortune. For many years, the plight of the land-locked countries has attracted international attention: witness the 1921 Barcelona Convention, the provisions on their behalf in the 1958 Geneva High Seas convention, and the 1965 UNCTAD Convention on Transit Trade of Land-locked States. Their problems are by no means resolved, and the Informal Single Negotiating Text, which emerged from the 1975 Geneva Session of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, makes a number of provisions on their behalf. But in addition to the land-locked States, there are an indefinite number of coastal countries which, for various reasons, claim or may be expected to claim, special rights in the new regime of the oceans on the grounds of geographic disadvantage. It is with the parameters of such a group that this paper is concerned.