The Sea

David J. Bederman

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599752
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

The Sea


This chapter examines the history of the law of the sea from two separate, but linked, perspectives. First, it offers a chronological narrative, charting an intellectual history of international law’s engagement with problems of ocean ownership and activities. Drawing from global trends and perspectives, and reviewing some of the canonical writings on the subject, it points out the main themes of discourse about legal regulation of the oceans, especially over the past half-millennia. Second, it provides a more conventional doctrinal summary of the main currents for law of the sea regimes. It reviews the current preoccupation with the juridical regimes of maritime zones. The discussion focuses on historical developments with the law of the sea, prior to 1945.

Keywords: international law; ocean ownership; sea regimes; maritime zones; juridical regimes

Article.  10487 words. 

Subjects: Law ; History of Law ; International Law

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