Foley Hoag's Christina Hioureas and Alejandra Torres Camprubi Co-Author Chapter on Legal and Political Considerations on the Disappearance of States for Law of the Sea Compendium

September 21, 2020

Foley Hoag LLP counsel and United Nations practice group Chair Christina Hioureas and associate Alejandra Torres Camprubí have written a chapter in New Knowledge and Changing Circumstances in the Law of the Sea, published by Brill and edited by Judge Tomas Heidar.

During the four decades that have passed since the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was negotiated, there has been considerable advancement in the knowledge of a number of important issues addressed in the Convention. Among those issues are marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, including marine genetic resources; the continental shelf, including seafloor highs, and its outer limits; and deep seabed mineral resources. At the same time, as a consequence of global warming, new issues have arisen in many areas related to the law of the sea. In particular, sea level rise may affect baselines, maritime limits and boundaries of coastal States and also implicates questions of Statehood. 

New Knowledge and Changing Circumstances in the Law of the Sea, which includes 22 Chapters by prominent legal and scientific experts, focuses on these critical developments, the challenges they pose, and the various ways in which States are addressing these challenges. 

Hioureas and Torres Camprubí's chapter, "Legal and Political Considerations on the Disappearance of States due to Sea Level Rise," surveys the various legal theories and approaches that have been debated in academic circles regarding the application of the Montevideo Convention on low-lying small island States in the context of the effects of rising sea levels. The article outlines both legal and political consideration for each potential approach to preserving the legal continuity of small island States.

Hioureas and Torres Camprub√≠ are both members of Foley Hoag’s International Litigation & Arbitration Department.