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In the following video, a strong proponent of the treaty, Professor John Norton Moore of U of V, expresses the views of the left –
Steven Groves of the Heritage Foundation, presents the opposing viewpoint –
Click here for an excellent c-span video link. In the video, Steven Groves addresses the problem of signing a treaty like this with unreliable members who have not and will not subscribe to the treaty. He also expressed concerns about the redistribution element that will be governed by an international body which will in turn decide where our country’s rights begin and end.
Professor Moore provided rebuttals. Professor Moore said that our constitution prevents the loss of sovereignty because we can always violate the treaty. Groves’ response to that is we do not violate treaties and he also referred to the treaty’s inherent principles which violate U.S. views of liberty. [It sets a dangerous precedent.] We will be subjected to international tribunals that do not allow for appeal.
One speaker from a land-locked country, who believes he is entitled to coastal country’s resources – namely ours, said the United States will never get this good a deal again.
Heritage believes that we should not sign up to the treaty because –
- It holds the U.S. to an unaccountable international bureaucracy with the U.S. having limited authority.
- Redistribution of U.S. Wealth goes to the “developing world” with no other country held to that standard.
- It will subject the U.S. to mandatory dispute resolution which can open the U.S. to specious allegations and from which there is no appeal.
- U.S. economic interests are at risk of Marist views that the deep seabed resources belong to all of mankind.
- Despite information to the contrary, the convention of 1994 was not fixed by Clinton. It did NOT secure “veto” power for the U.S. over the decisions of the ISA.
Of course the treaty has many good features or it wouldn’t have gotten as far as it has gotten.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, another conservative think tank, points to the following as the key sticking points which makes the treaty unacceptable –
Sufficient concerns about the implications for U.S. national security and U.S. environmental policy exist that the United States should be wary of acceding to the Law of the Sea Treaty.
These concerns, in summary, include –
- Article 20 would extend the surfacing requirement to vessels not covered under previous conventions, including those that would otherwise qualify for innocent passage such as unmanned vessels used for mine detection and other purposes.
- The Law of the Sea Treaty would impede the U.S.’s ability to capture international terrorists and confiscate weapons of mass destruction through detention of ships on the high seas. The treaty specifies that the boarding of ship is not justified except when a ship is believed to be engaged in piracy, unauthorized broadcasting, drug trafficking, is obscuring its nationality or shows no nationality. Detention of ships in a manner other than those prescribed in the treaty would subject such actions to the judgment of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea in Hamburg, Germany.
- Article 88’s stipulation that “the high seas shall be reserved for peaceful purposes” and Article 301’s requirement that parties to the convention refrain from “any threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state” may be used to impede U.S. military operations at sea. The Treaty’s opt-out provisions for military activities would only free the U.S. from the requirement to participate in a specific dispute resolution process, not dispute resolution itself.
- The marine conservation provisions of the treaty could be used by activists to achieve through international institutions that which they haven’t been able to achieve through domestic legislation.
- The conservation provisions may give environmental organizations a new avenue to pursue environmental lawsuits in U.S. courts.
- The conservation provisions may provide the means for forcing the U.S. to adopt the Kyoto Protocol or similar emissions-control schemes – schemes the U.S. has rejected.