Document Type



Admiralty | International Law | Legal History


The recent developments in the law of the sea form only one chapter of a larger story which deals with the development of international law in general. This larger story has to do with the ways in which the rules of international law are perceived and how it is believed the world should be governed. This Article examines the tale of the law of the sea in the 1970's and 1980's in an historical perspective. It is especially important for Americans to remember the record of history. This is so not only because the United States is one of the most powerful states in the world and, hence, has a great influence on how the present chapter on the law of the sea is written, but also because the United States has a disquieting record of great accomplishment and of great failure in international law and organization.