Reply to "Is it time for US to join UNCLOS?


This is a comment in reply to Capt.1 Raul (“Pete”) Pedrozo’s article “Is It Time for the United States to Join the Law of the Sea Convention?” published in the Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce (241 J. Mar. L. & Com. Vol. No. 2 (April 2010)) where the author argues strongly but unpersuasively in the negative. The author looks only at selected clauses of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982) to form

his statements. He unfairly reflects the argumentation

structure his protagonists employ. Thus, his subsequent dialectic seems to be an adjunctive mix of disapproving comments on a brief to the Council of Foreign Relations on climate-related matters leavened with his interpretation of the US security interests as related therein. We cannot understand that document’s relationship to maritime matters. Moreover, security interests as presented

by the author seem to be strongly colouring other equally or more important matters of United States (US) policy including maritime and trade policies. Thus, we are puzzled as to the author’s motivation in expressing his views. With no intent whatsoever to argue ad hominem in this paper overall, it appears to us that the author is a senior USN lawyer. Seeing neither express nor implied disclaimer in his article, we are not sure if Capt. Pedrozo’s views are his own, or if they are intended to signal the stirrings of a most surprising change in policy in the USN, the Department of State, or in the sundry US organs of state security. If such is the case, the notion of change certainly has neither been widely distributed,nor publicised, nor is it widely known. This in turn leads us to suspect that the author’s approach is perhaps not as unbiased as it should be for a senior officer holding the commission of the head of state and government of the US. We would hope that his observations are the bona fide collective creature of his own idiosyncratic and subjective perceptions rather than the actual or potential policies of the US government.

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