San Diego Law Review


David David

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



Professor R.R. Baxter, the U.S. State Department's Counselor on International Law, in addressing the Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee at Lagos earlier this year capsulized what the debates over the oceans' future have been about. He stated: The law of the sea is, as it were, the constitution of the oceans. As such, its major concern is with distribution of authority. As is true of all constitutions, two basic questions are involved in the distribution of authority: Who shall exercise authority in a particular respect? What conditions or restrictions are to be placed on the exercise of this authority? For the last half decade these questions have been vigorously aired in the United Nations General Assembly and in its Seabed Committee. At times the debate over what the future law of the sea should be tends to obscure what the present law of the sea is.