Preface of the reprint in 2005
More than 15 years ago FAIRPLAY PUBLICATIONS Ltd, Coulsdon, Surrey, England, published the book ÒBernaertsÕ Guide to the Law of the Sea Ð The 1982 United Nations ConventionÓ. The guiding potential of the book to find access to the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention is still given. Internet technology and publishing on demand invite to provide the interested reader, law student, and researcher with this tool again. Only the Status of the Convention (ratification etc) has been updated and instead of the Final Act, the reprint includes the ÒAgreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the SeaÓ of 1994. The thorough Index of the 1988 edition is reproduced without changes.
Arnd Bernaerts, October 2005,
Preface (extract) of 1988 edition
The reader will be aware that the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is the first constitution of the oceans, a groundbreaking document in many respects. He or she might also have made the discovery that the full text of the Convention is immediately accessible only to experts. If the Convention were only a treaty consisting of straightforward technical regulatory provisions, it could be left to them with a clear conscience. But the Convention is to a large extent a political document and, as such, is expected to influence significantly the development of relations among the states in the world community; for this reason, a wide-spread knowledge of the scope, goals, and regulatory framework of the Convention can only serve to further the aims of the document and would surely follow the intentions of the many men and women who made this Convention their life-work, such as Arvid Pardo (Malta), Hamilton Shirtey Amerasinghe (Sri Lanka), Tommy T. B. Koh (Singapore), and Satya N. Nandan (Fiji), to name only a few of the hundreds who worked on the preparation of this Convention.
As the reader uses the Guide (Part II), he will find that many provisions of the Convention are much easier to understand if one knows the basic framework within which a particular regulation is placed. The Guide aims to provide this framework, with reference to the text of the Convention and, in addition, to the supporting Commentary of Part III, which describes the overall context of the major terms and concepts. The Introduction of Part I sketches the historical background of the Convention and some of the general effects. A detailed index at the end of the book will be of assistance in finding specific subjects.
For more information, please visit: www.bernaerts-sealaw.com