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Professor John Noyes Plays Important Role at International Law of the Sea Conference in Belgium

Professor John E. Noyes

California Western Professor John E. Noyes will deliver the keynote lecture at a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The international event takes place at the University of Ghent in Belgium on November 14.

"I was honored by the invitation," says Noyes, who teaches law of the sea and is co-author of the leading casebook on the subject.

The UN Convention of the Law of the Sea is the basic framework treaty setting out rules and establishing institutions for the world's oceans.

However, as Noyes explains, the United States has not ratified the treaty.

In my remarks, I will focus on the reasons why the United States has remained a non-party to the Law of the Sea Convention, despite its acceptance by 166 parties and its widespread support by Democratic and Republican administrations, the U.S. military, U.S. industries (energy, telecom, shipping, fishing), and U.S. environmental organizations,” says Noyes. "I reflect on views associated with different U.S. foreign policy approaches, which have implications for U.S. attitudes towards international law. In addition, I explore the current and problematic legal status of the United States with respect to oceans issues in light of the U.S. failure to accept this foundational treaty."

Noyes has been on the California Western faculty since 1982, is active in several international law organizations, and recently served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association. In addition to the casebook he co-authored on the law of the sea, he is the author of more than 50 books, book chapters, law review articles, and essays on the international law of the sea, international dispute resolution, and other international law topics.