Northwest Passage Argumentative Analysis

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Eventually, in 1994 the US signed the treaty because an agreement was made because the regulation of the mining of seabeds was no longer applicable, but to this date, they have not ratified the convention. The United States have yet to ratify the convention in fear that ratifying the treaty would impose on American sovereignty. Despite the United States not ratifying the treaty, they are still bound to the convention because under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, as long as a nation signs a treaty they are bound to it. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea shapes all offshore claims and the key point of reference when offshore disputes arise. The International Court of Justice, also known as the world court, is the…show more content…
In 1907, Canada made an argument known as the sector theory, that all coastal nations around arctic waters had the right to claim sectors between their northern coastline and the North Pole. This would mean, Canada would claim sovereignty over all waters north of Canada including the Northwest Passage. Unfortunately, this argument was rejected by every Arctic state and has not been consistent in Canadian practice. Thus, it has not achieved the status of customary international law. A few years after, Canada made a second argument that Canada has historic titles over waters of the Northwest Passage. The Canadian government argued that the area is equivalent to land because of the semi-permanent nature of the ice and the use of that ice by the Inuit, whom are Canadian citizens. This argument has limited international support for many reasons including the fact that the Inuit did not occupy all the areas of the Northwest Passage. Both these arguments lack international support and do not have a status of customary international law and have disappeared from sovereignty discourse. To strengthen their claim Canada came up with a third stronger argument that has gained some support. Canada maintains that the Northwest Passage is Canadian internal waters because vessels that utilize the passage must cross straight baselines that Canada has drawn around their Arctic…show more content…
As mentioned earlier, the Canadian argument that the Northwest Passage is a historic waters has been proven weak, and has generally been abandoned by the Canadian government. Thus, the only way Canada can legally prove the Northwest Passage is internal waters is with straight baselines. One of the issues about the Canadian claim is that the United States does not believe Canada has the right to draw any straight baselines. In 1951, the International Court of Justice heard a case between Britain and Norway known as the Anglo-Norwegian Fisheries case, they were both debating whether Norway had the right to draw the straight baseline they drew. The court ruled that Norway had the right to draw straight baselines because it met their geographical situation requirements. The court maintained that straight baselines may be drawn along a nation’s coast if their coastline is deeply indented coast or if it is bordering an archipelago bordering a coast and that it may depart from the physical line of the coast “within reasonable limits, may depart from the physical line of the coast.”97. This ruling influenced the United Nations to incorporate this into their Law of Sea Convention and the Territorial Sea Convention. UNCLOSIII and is now customary international law. Under Article 7, paragraph one of the Law of the Sea Convention it states “In localities where

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