International Law and Corporate Actors in Deep Seabed Mining

ISBN : 9780192898265

Joanna Dingwall
336 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jul 2021
Oxford Monographs in International Law
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The deep seabed beyond national jurisdiction (known as the Area) comprises almost three-quarters of the entire surface area of the oceans, and is home to an array of prized commodities including valuable metals and rare earth elements. In recent years, there has been a marked growth in deep seabed investment by private corporate actors, and an increasing impetus towards exploitation. This book addresses the unresolved legal challenges which this increasing corporate activity will raise over the coming years, including in relation to matters of common management, benefit-sharing, marine environmental protection, and investment protection. Acting under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the International Seabed Authority is responsible for regulating the Area for the benefit of humanity and granting mining contracts. A product of its history, the UNCLOS deep seabed regime is an unlikely hybrid of capitalist and communist values, embracing the role of private actors while enshrining principles of resource distribution. As technological advances begin to outstrip legal developments, this book assesses the tension between corporate commercial activity in the Area and the achievement of the common heritage.


1 A Methodological Approach to Deep Seabed Mining by Non-State Actors
Part I: Uncharted Waters - Deep Seabed Mining of the Common Heritage of Mankind by Corporate Actors
2 The Deep Seabed beyond National Jurisdiction and the Rise of Mining Activities within it by Non-State Actors
3 The Role of the Common Heritage Concept in Deep Seabed Mining
Part II: The Common Heritage as Process - Anchoring the Deep Seabed Mining Regime Applicable to Corporate Actors Within its Institutional Context
4 Common Management Through Institutional Architecture - What is the Scope of the UNCLOS Deep Seabed Mining Regime and the Role of the ISA within it?
5 Preventing Unilateral Deep Seabed Mining Activities - To What Extent Does the UNCLOS Regime Constrain External Actors?
Part III: The Common Heritage's Substantive Core - Navigating Conflict Between Regulatory Authority and Corporate Participation
6 Does the Regime Secure the Common Heritage's Benefit - Sharing and Marine Environmental Protection Components?
7 Balancing Community and Autonomy - To What Extent Does the Regime Reconcile ISA Regulatory Authority and Investment Protection for Corporate Actors?
Concluding Remarks on Corporate Entity Involvement in Deep Seabed Mining

About the author: 

Dr Joanna Dingwall is a public international lawyer, qualified to practice law in Scotland, New York, England and Wales. She lectures international law at the University of Glasgow, School of Law, and she previously taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. In addition to her academic career, Dr Dingwall is a lawyer to the Scottish Government concerning legal aspects of Scotland's offshore renewable energy sector, protection of the marine environment and other law of the sea matters. Previously, she worked as a London-based public international law and international dispute resolution practitioner for several years.

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