1st Edition

Law of the Sea in South East Asia Environmental, Navigational and Security Challenges

Edited By Donald R Rothwell, David Letts Copyright 2020
    306 Pages
    by Routledge

    306 Pages
    by Routledge

    The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) represents one of the most successful examples of multilateral treaty making in the modern era. The convention has 168 States parties, and most non-signatory States recognise nearly all of its key provisions as binding under customary international law, including the United States. Nevertheless, there remain significant differences in interpretation and implementation of the LOSC among States as well as calls, on occasion, for its amendment.

    This book analyses the impact, influence and ongoing role of the LOSC in South East Asia, one of the most dynamic maritime regions in the world. Maritime security is a critical issue within the region, and it is separately assessed in light of the LOSC and contemporary challenges such as environmental security and climate change. Likewise, navigational rights and freedoms are a major issue and they are evaluated through the LOSC and regional state practice, especially in the South China Sea. Special attention is given to the role of navies and non-state actors. Furthermore, the book looks at regional resource disputes which have a long history. These disputes have the potential to increase into the future as economic interests and concerns over food security intensify. Effective LNG and fisheries resource management is therefore a critical issue for the region and unless resolved could become the focal point for significant maritime disputes. These dynamics within the region all require extensive exploration in order to gauge the effectiveness of LOSC dispute resolution mechanisms.

    The Law of the Sea in South East Asia fills a gap in the existing literature by bringing together a holistic picture of contemporary maritime issues affecting the region in a single volume. It will appeal to academic libraries, government officials, think-tanks and scholars from law, strategic studies and international relations disciplines.

    List of figures

    List of tables

    List of contributors



    Table of cases

    Table of treaties and other international instruments

    1 The law of the sea and South East Asia

    Donald R. Rothwell and David Letts

    2 Maritime claims in South East Asia

    Donald R. Rothwell

    3 An incomplete maritime map: progress and challenges in the delimitation of maritime boundaries in South East Asia

    Clive Schofield

    4 Maritime security in South East Asia

    David Letts

    5 Advancing marine environmental security in South East Asia: challenges and opportunities

    Robin Warner

    6 Climate change and the law of the sea in the Asia Pacific

    K aren N. Scott

    7 The limits of the natural state doctrine: rocks, islands and artificial intervention in a changing world

    Imogen Saunders

    8 The Law of the Sea, status and message ambiguity


    9 The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in South East Asia: smooth sailing or stormy seas?


    10 ‘Do As I Do, Not As I Say’ – navigational freedom and the Law of the Sea Convention


    11 Regimes of navigation and maritime security in South East Asia


    12 Crossing the Rubicon: Singapore’s evolving relations with China in the context of the 2016 arbitral award


    13 Saving the South China Sea fishery


    14 Dispute resolution and the law of the sea following the South China Sea arbitration


    15 Challenges for the law of the sea in South East Asia: resolving current controversies and addressing horizon threats




    Donald R. Rothwell is Professor of International Law at the ANU College of Law, Australia

    David Letts is Director of the Military Law Program, and Director of the Centre for Military and Security Law at the ANU College of Law, Australia