Outpaced by events: Our ageing law of the sea Academic Article uri icon


  • The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was completed in 1982, after nearly 10 years of negotiation. It was an important accomplishment for standardizing international maritime law, which had been in chaos as the older regime of the freedom of the seas failed to keep pace with changing technology and time. But even as UNCLOS heralded a new era of maritime law, it too was out of date almost upon completion. Hijackings, terrorism, piracy and technological innovation all exposed cracks in the omnibus treaty, and the international maritime world has been struggling to keep up ever since. New treaties and new policies attempted to mend these gaps, but just as UNCLOS failed to solve all the problems of the weakening freedom of the seas doctrine, so too have these measures foundered in their effort to keep pace with a changing world.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 29

author list (cited authors)

  • Nyman, E.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Nyman, Elizabeth

publication date

  • August 2017